Do not use parliament as a tool to gain political power, says Hishammuddin

By John Isaac

PARLIAMENT should reconvene, but calls for its reopening cannot be used as a tool to gain political power, says foreign minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He agreed, in principle, that Parliament served as an important check and balance to the government, but said the country required political stability first.

“This stability may allow Parliament to reopen. It may also give MPs the right to ask questions and the government to answer (them) during parliamentary sessions.

“But the most pertinent point is that this stability must not be hijacked,” he said in a statement reported by Free Malaysia Today.

Hishammuddin said Malaysians should not be dragged into “yet another power struggle”, and called for the stability to last at least until the pandemic was under control.

He said the MPs who strongly pushed for Parliament to reopen must agree on collective responsibility to ensure the next session was entirely utilised in the interest of Malaysians.

All parties should be supportive of the government’s national recovery plan, he said, as its success depended on everyone’s cooperation.

Picture from The Star

Hishammuddin also expressed his frustration and disappointment at people who personally “attacked” him with accusations and slander, saying now was not the time to politicise every issue.

“Fake news has essentially become the nature of politics in this country,” he said. “Defamation only aims to distract and shift attention from solid deliberations and discussions on how to bring this country forward.”

He called on his fellow politicians from both sides of the divide to practise a “renewed approach in politics”, where they show the people that they are here to serve.

He also said the government must be given space to discuss and plan for a hybrid parliamentary session, to ensure smooth proceedings.

“As members of Parliament, it is (incumbent) on us, for better or for worse, to take collective responsibility on what emerges from the next session. It is on us to show the people that we are here in their best interests rather than personal ambitions.

“I will not deny that the opposition has every right to throw criticisms, but political expediency at this point in time will not be judged well by the people,” he said.