Restore the Dignity of the August House

1. After a two-month recess due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and more than three months since Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin took office, Parliament finally sat on Monday 13 July 2020.

2. There are many important matters that Parliament needs to discuss, especially in light of the economic turmoil brought on by the Covid-19 crisis. However, the media is just focusing on the chaos in Parliament without putting any importance on the more overriding issues.

3. Parliament Speaker Azhar Harun’s statement that Parliament is not a zoo but “our House” reflects his disappointment at the antics and lack of decorum of some of the Members of Parliament. It appears like there is no longer any dignity in the conduct of some of the MPs.

4. 2020 has been a most challenging period for Malaysia in terms of the health crisis, the political crisis and the economic crisis. Historians have said 2020 is the most tumultuous period in the last 150 years of world history. And the worst is not over yet.

5. The unexpected collapse of the 22-month old Pakatan Harapan government took everyone on both sides of the political divide by surprise. Understandably, sentiments and emotions run high and this shows in the demonstration of frustrations by some MPs over the last few days.

6. However, Parliament is not an arena to release one’s frustrations. Parliament is a very crucial branch of the government to deliver the wishes, expectations and aspirations of the voters through the representatives or MPs they have voted into office.

7. We often hear Parliament referred to as the August House. It is not a forum to slander, provoke, or engage in verbal abuse and any form of uncultured conduct. Decorum must be upheld as per the principle of our Rukun Negara but what is currently happening does not reflect this spirit.

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