Agong summons Rais Yatim, Azhar Harun over reopening Parliament

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The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has reportedly summoned both the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara Speakers to discuss matters pertaining to the reopening of the Parliament, before the current state of Emergency ends on August 1.

It was reported that Speakers Tan Sri Rais Yatim and Datuk Azhar Azizan @ Harun have been summoned next Tuesday at 11am, and that the duo had already received their invitations yesterday.

Apart from Azhar, his deputy Azalina Othman Said and Senate deputy president Mohamad Ali Mohamad are also expected to attend the meeting.

In a joint statement yesterday, Rais and Azhar said that the proposed hybrid Parliament session can happen in late August or the first week of September this year, adding that a grace period is still required to sort out the required mechanism for said hybrid meeting system.

They also took note of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree to reopen Parliament soonest, as well as the prime minister’s powers as the head of the government to announce a date, expressing their commitment to do everything that they can to expedite the hybrid sitting.

In the statement, Rais and Azhar also proposed for a special parliamentary sitting to be held in early August, to discuss matters relating to the hybrid sitting.

Following a special meeting on June 16, the Agong and the Conference of Rulers said it is not necessary to extend the ongoing Emergency period past August 1, and recommended Parliament be reconvened as soon as possible, along with the respective state legislatures.

A day prior to that, Muhyiddin announced that the government is committed to the reconvening of Parliament once the country is in phase three of the National Recovery Plan, sometime in September or October.

The Attorney General’s Chambers has since said that any decision would come from the Cabinet, as the Constitution states that the Agong is subject to the advice of the prime minister and the Cabinet.

Earlier today, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim charged that the office of the Dewan Rakyat speaker was being used to delay the reconvening of Parliament. He questioned why resumption of proceedings seemed to be so “laborious”.

“The constitution states the declaration of emergency and the emergency ordinance must be debated and voted on in Parliament. The failure of the Perikatan Nasional-led government to respect Parliament has put Malaysia in danger of a constitutional crisis,” he said.