By P Ramakrishnan:
This article was first published in Aliran on 15 December and is still relevant today (9 January 2020). Last month, on 14 December, a desperate PN government ordered three MPs under home quarantine to parliament for a crucial vote. Today, 9 January, Umno-Baru’s Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub has announced his decision to withdraw support from the PN government. This leaves the PN government with the support of 110 MPs out of the 220 lawmakers currently in the Dewan Rakyat. So, why is PN still in Putrajaya?
It’s all about them – not about you or the nation! Whatever they do is to consolidate their power and remain in office – what may come.
Today it was absolutely clear that the backdoor government would have fallen. They did not have the numbers and they were desperate to cling on to power.
The block voting after debates on the Federal Territories budget positively confirmed this fact. In the block voting the results were 110 for seven against, 31 abstained and 72 absent. Without the two ‘aliens’, the government’s vote would have been only 108 whereas the opposition would have the support of 110 MPs – (7+31+72 = 110). The backdoor government would have surely fallen!
In desperation, the backdoor government resorted to this risk-involving tactic, ignoring the health and safety of MPs to save its skin. The government brought to parliament the home quarantined MPs to secure their votes in order to continue to remain in power. This was done for selfish reasons.
One may ask, what was the rationale for exposing parliament to the risk of contamination by bringing those MPs under home quarantine? Dressed in personal protective equipment, they looked like ‘aliens’ from outer space! Were they adequately identified as those they were claimed to be?
When our frontline healthcare is so badly stretched and in dire need of whatever help that was available and possible, it is unforgiveable that an ambulance had to be spared to bring these MPs to parliament just to vote. It was not a life and death threatening matter for the nation requiring these MPs to be present in parliament today, but it definitely was a life and death matter for the government.
As such, rules could be bent, sacrifices could be made at the risk of health, an ambulance could be spared, ambulance drivers in this instance did not undertake duty to rush to a house where a person has had a heart attack or to a place where a person had suffered serious injury – but their services were needed to ferry three MPs because a political party was at the brink of collapse! What a crying shame!
According to a Bernama report, “the MPs were brought in an ambulance and upon arrival at Parliament were placed in a special room.” Strangely and suddenly, there was extra space for these three MPs but there was no space for social media journalists to cover the parliament proceedings!
Why waste the PPE attire on these people when it is sorely needed for people risking their lives attending to covid-19 patients?
This is not a caring government; it is not the government for the welfare of the people. It is a government that takes care of politicians who are on its side and who support its survival only.
In this appalling circumstance, the irresponsible act of the government, cannot have any justification whatsoever and must be fully condemned for what they did.
Malaysians would want this government to be defeated and thrown out. Will it happen tomorrow during the final vote at its third reading?
(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)