The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is extremely alarmed over the state of Malaysia’s democracy after today’s (2 August) sudden Parliament closure which saw hundreds of lawmakers being denied entry to the august house. This act is seen as deliberately preventing and subverting our democratic systems and the necessary checks and balances by undermining the role of parliamentarians for the sake of political expediency.
Deploying the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and heavy police presence to block the peoples’ representatives from exercising their constitutional duties is disproportionate, unwarranted, and clearly, a violation of democracy and is against the constitution.
Parliament is supposed to be the pillar of democracy, but Malaysians have seen more targeted and oppressive tactics to silence dissenting voices.
We came to know that the Health Director-General, Dr Noor Hisham and Health Minister, Dr Adham Baba were at Parliament today (2 August) to discuss issues regarding the prolonged lockdown and other COVID-19 matters with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). This directly goes against the justification provided for the closure, which was the detection of COVID-19 cases in Parliament.
The ‘Rakyat’ need to hear the views of all parliamentarians in response to the various ongoing crises in Malaysia. The COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future; hence parliamentarians need to set a good example of ensuring the continuation of work and business during this pandemic in a safe and enabling environment.
2 AUGUST 2021
Wathshlah G Naidu
CIJ Executive Director