KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — The Perikatan Nasional government had to take immediate action to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic without first tabling it in Dewan Rakyat.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the public needed immediate assistance as they were faced with a difficult and complicated situation and could not wait for the Parliament sitting which began today.
“The main problem we faced was the question of managing and tackling COVID-19 and generally, the public knew in this difficult and complicated situation, the government had no choice. In fact, I myself felt that immediate action had to be taken even though the Parliament sitting had not begun,” he said.
Muhyiddin was replying to a supplementary question from opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) on why members of Parliament were not given the opportunity to have an open debate on the large allocations announced by the government including in the recovery of the country’s economy post COVID-19
The Prime Minister said he understands the duties of Members of Parliament who had a responsibility to bring up the question of national expenditure, but the government had a duty to look after the people who were facing difficulties.
“There were dozens of initiatives which we had to implement because out there, the people were waiting. They could not wait for this Parliament sitting, they wanted assistance to be given now.
“They were facing difficulties, the industry was collapsing, businesses could not be conducted if we waited for today (the Parliament sitting),” he added.
Muhyiddin said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz will be tabling the details of this in the current Dewan Rakyat sitting.
He stressed that the government was aware of the laws and regulations of spending so that it does not exceed the ceiling level.
“That was why in this desperate situation, not just in Malaysia, but other countries also had to take the same action as the main issue was COVID-19 with almost all world economies collapsing.
“So, whether we like it or not, we had to look for existing internal resources, not external, to use to ensure that we could help the country resolve the economic and other problems,” he said when replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (PN-Pontian) on the government’s efforts to tackle the national deficit.
Muhyiddin also stressed that every ministry and government agency must cut out bureaucracy or red tape to speed up the the process of solving problems.
“Every form of bureaucracy or red tape must be cut out in the time we want to resolve the current critical economic problems,” he said.
He said the Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali was looking on this matter.
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