Parliament next week should only debate and pass a contingency finance bill to authorise government expenditures for first half of next year and defer all other business to a properly-called meeting requiring 28-day notice

Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Friday): In the unconstitutional and illegal parliamentary  notice to the 193 new MPs by the Setiausaha Parlimen dated 13th December 1999 convening a four-day meeting of Parliament on Monday, 14 items of business were set out.

They are:

If the illegal parliamentary notice and unconstitutional royal proclamation summoning Parliament to meet on Monday before the Cabinet had been formed is regularised with the issue of  a new royal proclamation and  a new parliamentary notice, the first  day of the meeting of Parliament after a general election cannot only deal with five of the 14 items in the  notice.

The Dewan Rakyat Standing Order (1) is very clear on this, as it states:

Thus it is clear that after the election of the Speaker and the oath-taking by the 193 new MPs,  "the house shall stand adjourned" until summoned again by the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

Item No.6 "Usul menyambung Mesyuarat" is most improper, unparliamentary and a contempt of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, as Parliament is being asked to usurp the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s powers and privileges to be the sole authority to summon Parliament.

I appreciate there is an urgent need for an emergency meeting of Parliament to pass a contingency finance bill to authorise the government expenditures for the first half of next year involving some RM30 billion, as the government would otherwise grind to a halt from 1st January 2000 as the 2,000 Budget will not be passed by the end of the year.

The Barisan Alternative will co-operate with the Barisan Nasional government to resolve this emergency problem, which is the  sole creation of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in his irresponsible timing of the last general election  but the resolution must be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and not by flouting the Constitution and breaking laws.

The solution will be for the issue of another royal proclamation to  requisition an emergency meeting of Parliament from December 21 onwards to deal with one specific business - the contingency finance bill to authorise government expenditures for the first half of next year.   At least six days should be set aside for the debate on the contingency finance bill.

All other parliamentary business such as  election of  two Deputy Speakers, the appointment of members of the Selection Committee, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, as well as government bills and private motions  should be deferred until the first working meeting of Parliament - after the requisite 28-day notice is given to all MPs before any parliamentary meeting.

If the Barisan Nasional government insists on proceeding with its unconstitutionally-summoned Parliamentary meeting on Monday, and to deal with the 14 items of business as set out in the parliamentary notice, then the new Parliament would be breaking provision after provision in the Constitution, the Parliamentary Standing Orders and all accepted parliamentary traditions and conventions.

This cannot be a good start for the tenth Parliament in entering the new millennium.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman