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An Effective Opposition

Someone commented that the PR are too busy ‘bragging’ about taking over the Federal Government that it has forgotten its responsibility of being an effective opposition. Well, I really do not know the yard-stick which he or she uses but given the circumstances I think we have performed considerably well. So well in fact that the Parliament is nowadays attended by many interested parties who wish to witness the debates brought on by the Opposition, i.e. PR.

Perhaps the ‘someone’ concerned isn’t fully aware of what has been happening and I wish to use this opportunity to enlighten everyone of what has been done in the Parliament all this while. What we have done and achieved in the PR states I will not go into here as the issue is ‘an effective opposition’ presumably in Parliament.

During the first Parliamentary session held from the 28th of April up to the 29th of May, the main order of meeting was the King’s inaugural speech. The issues raised by the Opposition following the speech saw the session extended by two days. The session ended on the 29th of May instead of the originally intended date of the 27th of May. Many issues were raised including the undemocratic nature of the last elections, which included the last minute cancellation of the use of indelible ink. The ink had, according to the government, already been bought for RM 2 Million but not used due to ‘security concerns’. Similarly many issues on the wastages in government spending, the pandemic nature of corruption in the administration as well as contracts which were very one sided in favor of the favored contractors were raised and effectively argued against. This led to some of the BN MPs promising to study the issues raised, including the negotiation with various concession holders for lower rates. The issue of Altantuya was also raised as her father watched from the gallery.

The second session was from the 23rd of June to the 17th of July. This session started with a bill by a Minister (my brother Shahrir) seeking support for the drastic rise in petrol prices decided on by the government. You can watch the debate pertaining to this issue in two parts; Part1 and Part2. The price hike was implemented when Parliament was not in session on the 6th of June. No discussion was held and after almost two weeks our agreement sought. The PR MPs put up a defiant stand against the said government decision and the debate was long and exhaustive. Nonetheless the government stubbornly stood their ground.

The following days focused on supplementary budgets which needed endorsement from the Parliament although the expenses had already been incurred. Such is the nature of Malaysian democracy! The Parliament is made into a huge rubber stamp as the expenses have been incurred before discussing it in the Parliament. Nonetheless, again the PR parliamentarians performed well, and we were complimented on our performance many times. The post of the AG was also debated in this session as to how he is to be made more accountable to the Public. We know of reports from the ACA which were not acted upon simply due to the practice of ‘selective prosecution’. One must understand that only the AG has the right to prosecute on behalf of the people. A few regulations were also deliberated on.

The third session started on the 18th of August and is currently in recess due to the Holy month of Ramadhan. The most heated debate during this session was on the DNA bill which we believe targets Anwar. Although it targets Anwar, the passing of the bill has serious consequences to all Malaysians as it gives such sweeping powers to the police. It leaves a suspect completely defenseless and would make the ‘set up’ of an intended victim very easy. We opposed the bill but again the BN representatives, even after some voiced agreement with our arguments, voted in favor of it. It was therefore passed.

So, based on the above somewhat lengthy disclosure, I do not agree with the statement that the PR is not an effective opposition. Given the way ‘democracy’ is being practiced here and the ‘enbloc’ voting demanded by the BN, irrespective of the views of the individual MP, can any opposition really be effective? They will forever bull doze anything and everything they wish even if it is clear that there are strong arguments against it.

Wallahu ‘Alam

Comments

joe said…
Salam YB,

Never give up...fight till the end,
bak kata pepatah "Janganlah berputus asa. Tetapi kalau anda sampai berada dalam keadaan putus asa, berjuanglah terus meskipun dalam keadaan putus
asa."

carcoon

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