Archive for November 5th, 2007

Will Abdullah dissolve Parliament in mid-session for polls?

Will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dissolve Parliament to enable the 12th general election to be held this month, although Parliament is in mid-session, rendering six weeks of parliamentary meeting (four of which are on the ongoing debate on the 2008 budget) going to waste?

Almost eight years ago, on November 10, 1999, when it was obvious that the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was going to dissolve Parliament when Parliament was in mid-session debating the 2000 Budget, I had issued the following statement:

“There is nothing in law and constitution against the dissolution of Parliament in mid-session. However, it is scandalous and outrageous for the present Parliament to be dissolved in mid-session when there is no constitutional or political crisis, as Mahathir has a rock-like five-sixth parliamentary majority, for this would mean that the four weeks of parliamentary meeting since Oct. 18 and the public expenses incurred would go to waste, with Ministers avoiding accountability for two weeks of debate on the 2,000 budget.

“Such contempt for Parliamentary conventions and proprieties and insensitivity to public concerns about abuses of power and waste of public funds — and the dissolution of Parliament wasting four weeks of parliamentary meetings is the most recent example — is the result of political arrogance, irresponsibility and political hegemony of the Barisan Nasional after 42-year uninterrupted two-thirds parliamentary majority.”

If Parliament is dissolved this week or when it is in mid-session, the same critique of arrogance of power, utter contempt of Parliamentary conventions and proprieties and insensitivity to public concerns about waste of public funds would apply with even greater force to Abdullah. Read the rest of this entry »