Kuala Lumpur | 18 February 2021
Press Statement by Fakhrurrazi Rashid, Research Coordinator, Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
Executive-Parliament Bipartisan Cooperation is the Best Approach During Emergency
Progressive think-tank Research for Social Advancement (REFSA) supports the call by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) urging the Malaysian government to convene parliamentary sessions. This is to ensure that the governance of the country is conducted transparently and responsibly so that the policies formulated can effectively help the people and benefit the country in the face of this prevailing pandemic.
Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin along with both speakers of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Senator Tan Sri Dato ‘Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim, must respond to the APHR’s call to allow the Parliament to play its role of check and balance to the executive branch.
REFSA urges the PN government to regard the Parliament as a strategic partner and employ a bipartisan approach in the process of formulating policies with Members of Parliament (MPs) across the party divide. This bipartisan approach was suggested by several quarters including REFSA Chairman Liew Chin Tong at the beginning of last year as a solution in the form of a bipartisan cooperation between the government and parliament in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
We also support the proposal of the Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Dato ‘Sri Azalina Othman Said to set up a Special Bipartisan Parliamentary Committee consisting of government MPs, the opposition and members of the Senate to review and scrutinize matters of governance during the pandemic and emergency.
This was implemented by the New Zealand parliament which established the Epidemic Response Committee: Covid-19 which consisted of both the government and opposition MPs to ensure greater transparency by the administration following the postponement of parliament due to the Stage 4 lockdown carried out in New Zealand.
The Perikatan Nasional government also needs to express its commitment to conduct a virtual parliamentary session following the spread of COVID-19 as stated by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan on 5 November 2020 in the Dewan Rakyat. The delay of parliament in adopting technology to facilitate the conduct of parliamentary matters virtually after a year of pandemic will only put the people at a disadvantage.
This bipartisan approach is in line with the aspirations of the people which demand MPs and members of the administration to work out matters of interest to the people and the country. A bipartisan cooperation is a pragmatic approach to build the people’s confidence in our country’s direction and build back better as Malaysia recovers from this economic and health crisis. Malaysians deserve administrative leaders and MPs that are able to work together during COVID-19 for a better Malaysia.
https: // www. bharian.com.my/berita/nasional/2020/11/750291/kerajaan-teliti-sidang-dewan-rakyat-secara-maya
[For Press Statement in Bahasa Malaysia click here]