DAP: After Agong’s decree, speaker must meet PM to fix Parliament sitting

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Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun must immediately meet the Prime Minister to set a date for Parliament to sit, following the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s decree yesterday that the state of emergency does not prevent the legislature from sitting, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said.

Azhar should do this to uphold and defend Parliament by restoring its function and responsibility under the federal constitution, the Bagan MP said.

“Following the king’s decree yesterday, that the emergency proclamation does not prohibit the convening of Parliament nor negate its constitutional functions and power, Azhar Azizan Harun must immediately meet Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to set an early date for Parliament to be in session.

“The king has shown a keener awareness than Azhar of the importance of Parliament and respect (for) the electoral mandate of the rakyat. Azhar should not sit back, twiddle his thumbs and wait for developments or direction from the Prime Minister, who naturally would want to delay any parliamentary session,” Lim said in a statement today.

The Agong yesterday said that Parliament can still meet during the emergency period, which is until August 1 or earlier, depending on the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

He said that the emergency was called as a specific proactive measure to fight the pandemic, but that some quarters were “erroneous in thinking that the house may not sit during a state of emergency”.

The king’s decision was also reached after a meeting yesterday with Azhar and Dewan Negara Speaker Rais Yatim.

Lim said that since Azhar had an audience with the Agong on this matter, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker should give “utmost priority” to the convening of an early session of Parliament.

“PH leaders will also seek an early meeting with Azhar to convey the urgency of restoring Parliamentary democracy,” he added.

The state of emergency was declared on January 11. Critics have accused Muhyiddin of resorting to emergency rule to stay in power after his Perikatan Nasional government lost the majority in parliament. – TMI