Press Conference Statement (3) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, Sept.19, 1990 at 11 am
Dr. Mahathir will make a mockery of Parliament if it is dissolved after notice had been issued summoning it to meet on Oct.15
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, will make a mockery of Parliament if it is dissolved after notice had been sent out to all MPs for a two-month Parliamentary meeting beginning on Oct.15.
As the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Tan Sri Mohamed Zahir Ismail, said yesterday, there is nothing in law or the Consitution to prohibit it the cancellation of the third sitting of the Dewan Rakyat scheduled to begin on Oct.15, but such an action would show that the Prime Minister does not have high respect or regard for the institution of Parliament.
Once notice had been sent out to common a meting of Parliament, any cancellation of such a meeting without extraordinary reasons would reduce Parliament to a more political plaything of the ruling parties. Parliament’s status cannot be enhanced if it is openly subordinated in serve the politicking of the ruling parties.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, hinted yesterday that the Government had no intention of putting off the sitting of the Dewan Rakyat and tat the 1991 Budget will be presented by the Finance Minister on Oct.26.
If this is the case, then the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister should make a proper and formal announcement, so that the institution of Parliament would not be made to look foolish, to be dissolved after it had been summoned to meet on Oct15.
Although the decision to dissolve Parliament and to call general elections is at the sole discretion of the Prime Minister, this discretion should not be exercised in a way which would undermine the dignity and status of Parliament.
Parliamentary democracy can only function and take root in Malaysia if it develops a parliamentary tradition, which is respected by all, regarded of political parties or affiliation. One of these parliamentary conventions is that once Parliament is summoned to meet, it should not be dissolved unless there are extraordinary circumstances – such as the ruling government losing a vote of confidence or could not get its bull or business passed in Parliament. Otherwise, to summon and dissolve Parliament at the whim and fancy of the Prime Minister will be treating MPs as if they are lackeys of the Government.