Ex-speaker Ariff: Emergency laws must be tabled in Parliament

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The emergency declaration and its ordinances must be tabled, former Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said.

“All declarations on the emergency need to be presented in Parliament, but it did not happen.

Afif Abd Halim/TMI

“Parliament must be called because that is the democratic way. The MPs also report to the people and without Parliament our democracy is tainted,” he said during an online discussion on “People’s rights and emergency from a constitutional view”.

Ariff added that the suspension of Parliament under the emergency was unjustifiable.

On January 12, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah declared a state of emergency for the country until August 1 to curb the increasing number of Covid-19 infections.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the state of emergency is aimed at giving the government more powers to fight the pandemic.

Earlier today, Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said repeated her appeal to the government to convene Parliament.

Azalina said she was disappointed with the silence and inaction towards repeated appeals by her and other MPs for Parliament to be convened.

She said the government can impose a lockdown on the public but it must not lock down the process of democracy in the country.

Ariff today said other countries are using Zoom and virtual platforms for their parliamentary sessions, so Malaysia should be able to do the same.

“There is no need to suspend Parliament. The rakyat is watching (the government’s actions). They are informed especially the youth.”

Sg Buloh MP Sivarasa Rasiah said the emergency was not needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The world over is also fighting the pandemic but without emergency.

“We don’t need the emergency to fight the pandemic.”

He added that in the last four months there has been no success in curbing the spread of the virus.

“The numbers are now very high. The democratic right for Parliament to sit to address this issue is also gone.” – TMI