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Rafidah should make amends for her parliamentary absence and contempt for MPs by giving a comprehensive Ministerial statement on APs scandal in Parliament on Monday followed by a full debate or she should end her 25-year Ministerial career and resign from Cabinet without any delay
Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said yesterday that the Cabinet on Wednesday will discuss the grouses of MPs, both Barisan Nasional and Opposition, at Rafidah’s failure to personally and satisfactorily reply to queries in Parliament related to the APs scandal.
What is worse, she is guilty of trying to arm-twist and intimidate Barisan Nasional MPs from speaking up on the APs scandal by her selective and misleading release of the APs list issued to MPs and former MPs – which would be a gross breach of parliamentary privilege and the first time in the 46-year history of the Malaysian Parliament
Why didn’t Rafidah make public the full list of MPs issued with APs from 1997, when MPs were first given the entitlement of an AP each? Is it because her own name would have appeared in that list, raising a very serious issue of conflict-of-interest?
It is ridiculous and outrageous for the Cabinet to have to waste time to discuss Rafidah’s dereliction of duty as a Minister to respect and uphold the fundamental principle of Ministerial responsibility and accountability.
If Rafidah, as the second most senior Cabinet Minister after Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu who is completing her 25 years as Minister this month, has forgotten or is contemptuous of the fundamental principle of Ministerial responsibility and accountability to Parliament, then she has no business to remain in the Cabinet – as she has become a “bad apple” setting the most atrocious example to other Ministers as well as to new Ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle which is long overdue.
In fact, with her contempt for Parliament and parliamentary misbehaviour as if she has become a Minister who is above Parliament, Rafidah is a liability in the two-year premiership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawai, advertising the Prime Minister’s failure to impose discipline, leadership by example and good governance starting with the Cabinet!
An examination of the parliamentary records in the past decade will show that Rafidah tops the list of Cabinet Ministers with the worst record for parliamentary attendance and appearance in Parliament to answer MPs’ questions or to reply to debates affecting her ministry.
There must be zero-tolerance for such Ministerial dereliction of duty. If by Wednesday, Rafidah still plays “hide-and-seek” with Parliament, the Cabinet should censure Rafidah and ask for her resignation from the Cabinet.
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman