The Rent Control (Repeal) Act should be extended for another five years as both the Federal and State Governments had not made proper alternative programmes to minimise the socio-economic hardships to the 60,000 people in Penang from 16,000 households in 12,000 pre-war premises as providing alternative affordable housing and fair compensation.
This is another example of the abuse of the Barisan Nasionalís overhelming five-sixth majority in Parliament, which are used to deny opportunities for the people to put forward their grievances and problems.
The Barisan Nasional uses its overwhelming majority in Parliament even to subvert the ordinary parliamentary business.
For instance, Parliament should not be debating the Sale of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 1999, which was only tabled for first reading in Parliament this morning. Under the Standing Orders, at least one dayís notice must be given before the second reading debate of a Bill Ė which means that it should only be debated tomorrow.
Why was the Parliamentary standing orders suspended to allow the Sale of Drugs (Amendment) Bill to be debated? Parliamentary standing orders can only be suspended if there are urgent and powerful reasons, as for instance, lives are at stake if Parliament does not debate the second reading of the Sale of Drugs (Amendment) Bill today.
This is not the case. In any event, the Bill would have come up for debate tomorrow, and there can be no reason why its debate could not wait for another 24 hours.
The only reason why the parliamentary standing order is suspended today is because the Barisan Nasional does not want to allow private membersí motions, like my motion on a private memberís bill to extend for five years the Rent Control (Repeal) Act, from being debated today.
MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs have failed the tenants of pre-war premises that they would do all they could to give them relief from the Rent Control (Repeal) Act 1997. What is worse, they took part in subverting the ordinary parliamentary business process which would have allowed private motions being debated today, by suspending the parliamentary order to allow the Drugs (Amendment) Bill to be debated instead.
MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs should explain why they had failed to ensure that my motion on private memberís bill to extend for five years the Rent Control (Repeal) Act 1997 is given priority for debate today.