IT DID not take long for the Parliament special sitting, which started today (July 26), to turn into a circus, with opposition lawmakers wasting no time screaming at the top of their voices to express their so-called frustrations and anger.
This fiery start only indicates the opposition MPs' intentions and motives, to treat the august House with nothing but indignity and dishonour.
The supreme legislative body was in full swing, with good attendance except for a few MPs who had to stay away because of Covid-19, but these uncalled-for actions and unbecoming behaviour of some opposition MPs clearly did not fit in with their status as representatives of the people (wakil rakyat).
We can see clearly that several MPs continued to exhibit uncouth mannerisms, childish behaviour and total disregard for the House.
Almost all of them seemed to want a piece of the action in this debacle. Just when you thought this disgraceful showing from the opposition side was over, they continued ranting, shouting, cursing and clowning around, even ignoring the Speaker’s directive to stop.
Can we, the rakyat, expect a debate that has civility, sophistication and eloquence, with facts and figures, during this special sitting? If, indeed, the MPs were genuine and serious enough to debate about the people’s lives and livelihoods amid these tough days of Covid-19, why are they wasting time jumping up and down, arguing and debating on irrelevant things that are of no concern to the people?
The only thing I can make out from the early morning episode of the special sitting today was that these opposing quarters would continue making attempts at turning Parliament into a circus, without giving real thought and consideration to the people’s welfare and interest.
To them, their strategies to grab power from the Perikatan Nasional government and remove Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the Prime Minister are more important.
It is very frustrating to witness opposition MPs using every single chance available to undermine and run down the present government and Muhyiddin who have done their level best to take care of the people and this country ever since the pandemic hit our shores early last year.
In his speech in Parliament today, despite initial disruptions and jeers by opposition lawmakers, Muhyiddin stressed the implementation of the National Recovery Plan needed the cooperation of all MPs and society to transition out of the twin health and economic crises.
So far, the government has implemented eight economic stimulus packages, with various cash assistance to the people, starting with the Prihatin package, then Prihatin SME Supplement, followed by Prihatin Permai, Pemerkasa, Pemerkasa Tambahan and the latest, Pemulih, with a total value of RM530bil. All this is done to ensure that the lives and welfare of the people are always safeguarded.
As it is, the allocation for the food basket programme which is still in full swing, has also been extended to all MPs, regardless of their political allegiances.
Discounts on electricity bills and subsidies for cooking oil and petrol, extension of loan moratorium, training and skills upgrading programmes to provide employment opportunities for the people, special grants for SMEs and a wage subsidy programme – the list of aids and assistance has been endless.
Importantly, the implementation of all these packages has benefitted more than 20 million people as well as 2.4 million premises and business entities so far.
Muhyiddin also said the government’s relentless response to the spread of the pandemic via the nationwide immunisation campaign for all Malaysians has been on track, with 17.31 million people vaccinated with at least one dose so far.
Of course, as he said, the Perikatan Nasional-led government is imperfect but its actions in salvaging the people and the country from the pandemic speak louder than words. That is why he keeps calling on MPs from both sides of the political divide to show solidarity in these difficult times.
Hopefully, they will agree for the sake of the rakyat. Together we stand, divided we fall.
Bukit Antarabangsa, Ampang