Don’t suppress public scrutiny of government spending; Unite Parliament, State Assemblies now!
Aliran is alarmed that a new ordinance issued yesterday will temporarily allow the prime minister, prime ministers and menteris besar to approve government spending beyond their budgets without having to seek parliamentary or government approval. State.
The Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance (Amendment) 2021 entered into force while Parliament remains suspended under the state of emergency.
The ordinance allows federal and state leaders to approve additional government spending or withdrawals from consolidated federal or state funds without legislative oversight.
This effectively means that parliament and state assemblies will no longer be able to control such spending or provide checks and balances. Elected officials, supported by their researchers, will not be able to question ministers or members of the State Executive Council in their respective legislatures.
This government money is public money. The ordinance avoids public control, exercised by the representatives of the people, over how this money is spent.
With legislative elections looming, the situation is even more serious. This means that there will be no control of government spending before the election. How can we be sure that public money will not be used for vote buying actions?
There is another serious implication of removing public scrutiny. The federal government, already grappling with so much debt, is now heavily dependent on loans and borrowing. Removing parliamentary checks and balances will increase the financial risk of government borrowing from the perspective of lenders. Financial institutions could then increase interest rates on government loans in the future.
Support the struggle to build a Malaysia based on Justice, Freedom, Solidarity:
The media, civil society and the public must mobilize and demand that parliament and state assemblies meet immediately. There is no reason why these legislative bodies should remain closed when most other sectors are functioning normally.
Aliran Executive Committee
April 1, 2021