- We, the undersigned civil society groups closely observe the current parliamentary sittings and political developments including a special announcement by the Prime Minister this afternoon.
- We urge the Dewan Rakyat to reconvene a special meeting immediately, not in September, to vote on motions of confidence or motions of no confidence against the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to prove the legitimacy of his leadership. If the motion of confidence for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is defeated this time, Members of Parliament (MPs) should be allowed to table motions of confidence for other Prime Minister candidates. Political uncertainty and instability in the country should not be prolonged until September.
- The closure of Parliament for two weeks as proposed by the Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Health is illogical and unreasonable as most of the places where there is an outbreak of COVID-19 can reopen in a few days after sanitation. We recommend that a special meeting of the Dewan Rakyat be convened within a week after the Prime Minister’s special announcement today.
- The adjournment of the Parliamentary meeting until September on the motion of confidence will only allow more time and spur activities for MPs to hop party through various means of threats, positions and money before the September parliamentary meeting. It may also allow the Perikatan Nasional government to use government power to suppress or block those who might not support the motion of confidence for the government.
- In the next meeting of Parliament, the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat should not reject motions of confidence or no-confidence submitted by any MP against the Prime Minister, like what happened in the last meeting on 26-29 July, which led to the constitutional crisis being prolonged and remain unresolved to this date. The Speaker and his deputies must discharge their duties as officers to the Parliament, not as spokepersons of the Prime Minister.
- If the current closure of Parliament can be justified on the basis of the COVID-19 outbreak, what is the guarantee that the DG of the Ministry of Health will not use the same reason in September? The COVID-19 outbreak should no longer be used to prevent this extremely important parliamentary meeting, whether held in the near future or in September. The Ministry of Health must act professionally, responsibly, in a non-partisan manner and avoid from being abused by any party for their political gains. All efforts must be made by the Ministry of Health to enable Parliamentary meetings to take place. Those who abuse power need to be taken action by the current government or the new government if the motion of confidence against Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is rejected in the Parliament.
This statement is initiated by the Seed Community for a Professional Parliament, a network of individuals active in civil society organisations, think tanks and academia working towards a professional Parliament that facilitates healthy policy competition between parties.
- Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)
- Persatuan Pengundi Muda (UNDI18)
- Bait Al-Amanah
- Institute for Political Reform and Democracy (REFORM)
- Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)