Lack of press freedom not good for the govt, country | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 02, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:45 AM, February 02, 2021

Lack of press freedom not good for the govt, country

JP lawmaker Anisul Islam Mahmud tells House

Two lawmakers from Jatiya Party and BNP yesterday in parliament criticised the government for "not having rule of law" in the country.

Participating in the thanksgiving motion on the President's speech, Jatiya Party MP Anisul Islam Mahmud said lack of interest in votes among people has been created in the recent times, which is not good for the country's democracy. The government should look into the matter seriously.

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The Jatiya Party MP said voter turnout in the election has come down to 24 percent. People's disinterest in vote is not a good sign for democracy.

"Freedom of the press is another pillar of democracy. Failure to ensure freedom of the press is not good for the country or the government," he said.

Anisul said if the rule of law cannot be established in the country, development cannot be sustained.

"Only enactment of law is not enough; people want to see implementation of laws. Otherwise, injustice will not stop."

Pointing to the sentencing of Bangladeshi lawmaker Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Papul in jail by Kuwait government on charges of money laundering and human trafficking, the Anisul questioned how the money was laundered from Bangladesh.

"Democracy is the strongest pillar of the spirit of independence. And the biggest pillar of democracy is elections. Today, questions have been raised about the Election Commission," Anisul also said.

"Looting is taking place in the country in the name of development," BNP MP Harunur Rashid exclaimed in his speech at the parliament.

"Money is being laundered. The local government system has been destroyed," he added.

Harun also criticised the opposition Jatiya Party, saying "there is no differences between the ruling party and the opposition has they have become united."

"The parliament cannot be made effective with such an obedient opposition party," he added.

Harun said former and current mayors of Dhaka city corporations have been bringing charges of corruption against each other. But the Anti-Corruption Commission is not filing any case against any of them.

Complaining that he was not allowed to speak in parliament, the BNP lawmaker said he has been trying to talk about contemporary issues for the last ten days, but was not given the chance to talk in parliament.

Responding to Harun's remarks, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Choudhury asked Harun to wait till the end of the day's important proceedings.

"But you didn't take the opportunity as you did not want to be present in Parliament till the end of the day's scheduled proceedings," added the Speaker.

Workers Party MP Fazle Hossain Badsha in his speech said the Anti-Corruption Commission has failed to take actions against money laundering due to weakness as an anti-graft body.

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