The Yang di-Pertuan Agong wants Parliament to convene before August 1 so that MPs can debate the proclamation of emergency and the ordinances passed under it, said Anwar Ibrahim.
August 1 is the expiry of the state of emergency which came into effect nationwide on January 11 to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Parliament and all legislative assembly sittings have been suspended since then by way of an emergency ordinance.
“So that the proclamation of emergency and the emergency ordinances can be debated, it means (Parliament must meet) before August 1. We have to debate the ordinances before August 1. This means that Parliament must convene as soon as possible with a short notice,” said the PKR president in a Facebook video on the king’s decree that Parliament should meet “as soon as possible”.
The Agong first issued the decree on June 16 after a special meeting of the Conference on Rulers on the state of the country amid the worsening Covid-19 pandemic and no parliamentary oversight.
The king reiterated the matter today after a meeting with Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara president Rais Yatim, stressing that guidelines and standard operating procedures should be put in place by the government for Parliament to meet.
The king also cited Article 150 of the federal constitution, whereby the emergency proclamation and related ordinances must be tabled in Parliament.
“The king is merely voicing the opinions of a majority of lawmakers and the general public,” Anwar said.
“He understands the suffering of the people and those who are not snobbish (unlike) cabinet ministers and the attorney-general, who gives arrogant answers,” the Opposition leader and Port Dickson MP added.
Anwar added that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should resign immediately if the government fails to heed the king’s decree.
Muhyiddin has said that the earliest Parliament can convene is sometime in September or October, under Phase 3 of the government’s National Recovery Plan to ease movement restrictions.
The reopening of the country will happen in phases depending on the number of daily infections, vaccination rate and the capacity of the healthcare system.
Last week, Azhar and Rais said the earliest parliament can convene is end-August or September. They said the Parliament office has set up a special committee to hold hybrid proceedings.
However, Attorney-General Idrus Harun has said that the king must act on the advice of the cabinet in calling for Parliament to convene. – TMI