MP: Dewan Rakyat agenda does not meet constitutional requirements

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The upcoming reconvening of Parliament beginning Monday does not meet the requirements under Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution, said Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim.

Hassan, who is a practising lawyer, argued that this article required that the proclamation of emergency and emergency ordinances be “laid before both houses of Parliament”.

While the lower will convene for five days beginning July 26, he pointed out that the upper house will only sit on Aug 3 for three days.

“This will make the special parliamentary sitting illegitimate in the eyes of the Federal Constitution because the requirements under Article 150(3) are not met,” Hassan said.

Article 150(3) states:

“A Proclamation of Emergency and any ordinance promulgated under Clause (2B) shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and, if not sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect if resolutions are passed by both Houses annulling such Proclamation or ordinance, but without prejudice to anything previously done by virtue thereof or to the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to issue a new Proclamation under Clause (1) or promulgate any ordinance under Clause (2B).”

Meanwhile, Hassan also expressed doubt over de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan’s guarantee that there will be debates during the Dewan Rakyat sitting.

Hassan said the notice sent out by the speaker’s office to the MPs does not explicitly mention the word “debate”, whereas the agenda for the sitting beginning Sept 6 does.

“The word ‘table’ on the Dewan Rakyat secretary’s notice (literally) meant placing the documents on the table for the MPs.

“For instance, many official reports such as the Human Rights Commission annual reports, economic reports, audit reports and the Public Accounts Committee reports are tabled.

“The truth is, it is (physically) placed on the table only. The reports are (almost) never debated, let alone voted on and a decision made,” said Hassan.

He said if indeed there were supposed to be debates, there will be no ambiguity in the Dewan Rakyat agenda.

Hassan speculated that Putrajaya was intentionally skirting Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution and avoiding debates in Parliament because there was no intention to annul the Jan 11 proclamation of emergency and emergency ordinances.

Under Article 150(7) of the Federal Constitution, unless annulled through Parliament, the emergency ordinances are still in effect for six months after the emergency has expired, which in this case is Aug 1. – Malaysiakini