MIC president: Why not suspend Parliament until pandemic declines?

PETALING JAYA: MIC president Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran has suggested the prorogation or suspension of Parliament in order to solve the political impasse that is plaguing the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that the prorogation of Parliament appeared to be the country’s safest bet towards maintaining public order, the life of the economy and political stability.

“During the implementation of a prorogation, the sitting of the Parliament will be put on hold and the affairs of the nation will be continuously managed and run by the current government.

“This will ensure a smooth flow of operations within the country as there would be no rise in the pandemic nor would any political upheaval be manifested, ” he said in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 14).

He said the prorogation could come to an end once the health authorities confirmed that the pandemic had declined steadily or the conditions towards conducting a safe general election were apparent.

He said even though this would be the first time that the prorogation would be implemented in the country, it was common in the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka when faced with an uphill task that required the safety and well-being of the nation.

“Therefore, bearing in mind that this is the first time our country has ever been faced with a global pandemic which has been ongoing since early 2020 and is consuming the lives and livelihood of its citizens at an alarming rate, it is only appropriate for a historical solution to be implemented, ” he said.

He said that the prorogation of Parliament would come under the implementation of Article 55(2) of the Federal Constitution which states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may prorogue or dissolve Parliament.

Vigneswaran said currently, holding an election would not be feasible as it would likely result in a similar outcome as the Sabah election.

“The sharp rise in Covid-19 cases after the recent Sabah state election should serve as an alarm bell against the holding of a snap general election which is well within everyone’s knowledge and going against it would be utterly preposterous, ” he said.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claims that he holds the majority in parliament while Umno has threatened to pull out of the governing Perikatan Nasional coalition.

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