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ASAP ≠ As Slow As Possible

3 whole paragraphs.

That’s not very long. But that’s all the response our glorious leader Muhyiddin “Mahiaddin” Yassin could muster in regards to 2 entire statements from the Malay rulers last Wednesday that essentially called bluff to his gomen’s insistence that Parliament isn’t safe from Covid-19 to be un-prorogued.

C’mon Moo! A 3-para statement’s practically a tweet!

In case you blinked and missed it when it was issued on Thursday, you can read the entire statement by the Prime Minister’s Office here—oh sorry, that was Fahmi’s TL;DR version of the statement. The real statement’s here.

And in case you also missed these, you can get the palace statements from the Agong and rulers here and here.

If you’ve no clue what we’re talking about, we covered the special conference of rulers at Istana Negara a coupla’ days ago in our newsletter.

The skinny of it is that earlier this month our King, kinda out-of-the-blue like, decided to meet the country’s leading politicians.

Why? To get a sense of the shitty sitch we’re all in, seeing as how our Covid-19 cases are through the roof, our political landscape’s a disaster zone, and our vaccination plan’s seemingly running in slow motion.

After a huddle, the rulers issued twin statements which, among others, called out:

  • The unstable politics, fractured society and the people’s perception of hidden (̶i̶n̶ ̶p̶l̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶s̶i̶g̶h̶t̶?̶)̶ political agendas in the gomen’s handling of the pandemic;
     
  • The need for a stable gomen that commands majority support (the fact they said ‘stable gomen’ and not ‘PN gomen’ wasn’t lost on us. Also at no point did they endorse or express faith in Moo);
     
  • Our high Covid numbers despite the country being under emergency;
     
  • Vaccination being only “exit strategy” to contain the pandemic (just a day after Moo announced his national exit strategy too, ouch!);
     
  • There being no need to drag the emergency beyond its Aug 1 end-date; and
     
  • The need for Parliament to convene ASAP (after all,there’re bills to table, Covid spending to question, a recovery plan to dissect, and leaders to hold accountable).

ASAP, as in ‘as soon as possible’, not ‘as sluggishly as possible’, ‘as sloth-like as possible’, ‘as selamba as possible’ or even, “Ah…September Aku Pukak (Ah…September, I’ll Open)”.

Guess our ol’ pal the premier didn’t know that, as instead of announcing the resumption of lower and upper house sessions, l’ufficio del primo ministro proceeded to twiddle its thumbs and issue a statement which basically said (we paraphrase!): 

“Thank you for calling PMO. Your feedback is important to us. All our operators are currently busy, but we’ve “taken note” of the royal views and will take action based on the laws and Federal Constitution.” 

In ‘cover lining’ for the boss, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan got himself in hot water for saying that since the Agong didn’t specify a Dewan Rakyat open date, September, technically, could be considered soon too. FYI, that’s the earliest Moo promised to open the House in his recovery plan. 

Later, the palace’s official social media guys posted an excerpt of the King’s statement yesterday, with certain words (coughParliament, coughHeldAsSoonAsPossible) in bold. That was later replaced with a changed, non-bold version. Make of that what you will.

Moodin & Co should realise that no one’s buying this hogwash. In fact, far smarter folks than us have said the rulers made it crystal they want Parliament up and running ahead of schedule. 

Sensing what’s bugging his former Pakatan Harapan comrade-turned-Sheraton Move-nemesis Moo, a wizened opposition lawmaker’s suggested a 1-year political moratorium at least to ensure our MPs focus on curbing the pandemic — unless someone obtains majority support of the House, that is!

How now, Moo?

Illustration by Fahmi Reza

Illustration by Fahmi Reza

Fahmi Reza is one of Malaysia's most iconic political graphic artists and activists. Using his wizardry with the pen and his wicked sense of humour, he calls out government and political incompetence and deceit through graphics and posters.

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