October 17 should be the last date for the dissolution of Parliament if general elections are to be held this year

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, September 30, 1994:

October 17 should be the last date for the dissolution of Parliament if general elections are to be held this year.

This is why the DAP has sent out a ‘full alert’ to all DAP State Committees and Branches to be fully prepared for general elections to be held from 22nd October to 13th November this year. A critical indicator would be the UMNO Suspreme Council meeting on October 12.

I agree with the Speaker of the Devan Rakyat, Tan Sri Zahir Ismail, that it is unlikely that Parliament would be dissolved once Dewan Rakyat meets and the 1995 Budget is presented by the Finance Minister, which is scheduled for Friday, 28th October.

Although there is nothing in law or the constitution to prevent Parliament from being dissolved mid-way during its meeting, anytime after the Dewan Rakyat reconvenes on October 17 or after the 1995 budget is presented by Anwar Ibrahim on October 28, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad would gain the reputation of being the most irresponsible of the four Prime Ministers of Malaysia if he does so.

The only excuse for dissolving Parliament midway during a Parliamentary meeting is when there is a government or constitutional crisis, like the government losing its simple majority, where there is no other option but to dissolve Parliament.

This is not the case in Malaysia – and therefore, only a very irresponsible Prime Minister would have entertained the possibility of dissolving Parliament midway during Parliamentary meeting – and I do not believe Mahathir wants to go down in history as the most irresponsible Prime Minister in Malaysia in the way he dissolved Parliament to call his fourth general elections.

This is why I say that October 17 is the last date for Mahathir to dissolve Parliament if he wants general elections to be held this year – so that Parliament does not meet at all although notices had been sent out for resumption of parliamentary meetings from October 17 to December 20, followed by Senate which will meet till December 29.

There are of course Barisan Nasional leaders who want Parliament to be dissolved and general elections held immediately. The primary reason is their fear of the Dewan Rakyat meeting resuming on Oct. 17, where they are likely to be subject to an ‘inquisition’ of their Ministerial failures or their scandals.

The MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ling Liong Sik for instance would press for dissolution of Parliament so that he would not be ‘grilled’ in Parliament next month for his atrocious record as the only Transport Minister in the would with six fires at international airport in two years, two goldbar robberies at the airport cargo complex in four months and three ‘near-miss collisions’ between aircrafts on the airport runway in three weeks.

Liong Sik should know that if Parliament is not dissolved, and the budget debate held, he would face another DAP motion to cut his salary by RM10 to mark national disgust and outrage at his record as Transport Minister. This time, the DAP RM10-cut motion against Liong Sik may even get the support of some Barisan Nasiona MPs!

The same consideration applies to the MIC President and Minister for Energy, Posts and Telecommunications, Datuk Seri s. Samy Vellu, who should know that his MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal and the recent 16-page public confession by the MIC Headquarters Public Relations Committee Chairman, V. Subamaniam, as to how he aided Samy Vellu to destroy evidence and fabricate Agency would be top on the DAP agenda for next month’s Parliament.

The scandals of the Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik would be competing with Liong Sik and Samy Vellu for Parliamentary attention if Parliament is not dissolved by October 17, and meets as scheduled.

These Barisan Nasional leaders would prefer Parliament to be dissolved and general elections held immediately.

Liong Sik for instance would want to use the Barisan Nasional victory in the next general elections to claim in a new Parliament that the electorate had also given their ‘blessings’ and approval to him as Transport Minister despite his atrocious record which justifies his entering the Guinness Book of Records as the worst Transport Minister in the world. Samy Vellu and Rahim Tamby Cik would have similar motives.