MCA and Gerakan Ministers/MPs have failed the tenants of pre-war premises in not  ensuring that my motion on a private memberís bill to extend for five years the Rent Control (Repeal) Act is given priority for debate in Parliament today


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): I regret that my motion on a private memberís bill to extend for another five years the Rent Control (Repeal) Act 1997 had not been given priority for debate today although 60,000 people in Penang who would be affected by the rent decontrol legislation are hoping that Parliament today would give them relief.

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.

(18/10/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong