Dr M takes veiled swipe at MPs afraid to voice objections to emergency

26-Jan-2021 Intellasia | Malaysiakini | 6:52 AM Print This Post

In a cryptic post on his “chedet” blog, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken a veiled swipe at those who are hesitant to voice their objections to the emergency declaration.

“We try to get as many people as possible to give an opinion on the emergency. Many of them think the emergency is not necessary and they cite several reasons why they think so.”

However, he said that while these people understood why the emergency is objectionable, they were in fear of expressing their opinions.

“They are in fear and only voice their opinions in hushed tones while looking around. And they also do not want their opinions to be circulated.

“They say they are afraid because the government is powerful and can do anything to them. A fine of RM5 million and imprisonment for 10 years, without any legal protection.”

Mahathir said he tried to make it clear that the government cannot do that, but others were unconvinced and unhappy.

“When asked to sign a letter of appeal for an emergency to be withdrawn, they refused,” he said.

While Mahathir did not name the targets of his post, it appeared he was addressing MPs who were hesitant to petition the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a special parliamentary session to debate the emergency.

Umno sources have told Malaysiakini that secretary-general Ahmad Maslan’s call to petition the Agong was met with lacklustre support from party MPs because they fear the move would give Umno a bad image.

Umno election director Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said that sending a letter to the king is not an act of betrayal as claimed by some quarters, such as former BN secretary-general Annuar Musa.

However, Tajuddin told Malaysiakini there were several reasons Umno MPs were not backing the letter issued by the party, saying “some don’t understand and some are looking after political interests”.

On Saturday, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim claimed that between 114 and 115 MPs, a majority in the Dewan Rakyat, are against the emergency declaration.

Anwar said this is enough to ask the king to consider their appeal for Parliament to reconvene and have the emergency aborted.

Anwar previously appealed to lawmakers to write to the king to get the emergency declaration rescinded.

Pakatan Harapan MPs have said that an emergency is not necessary because the movement control order (MCO) standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be sufficient.

They claim that prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has the political motivation of avoiding elections and parliamentary sittings while being able to govern unchecked.

The Dewan Rakyat was scheduled to meet for the first time this year from March 8 to April 8.



Category: Malaysia

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