Unless notice is given to MPs to convene Parliament, the response by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree to do so as soon as possible is “meaningless”, said Najib Razak.
He was referring to a statement by the PMO yesterday, which said it took note of the king’s call for Parliament to reconvene as soon as possible.
“Under normal circumstances, when not in an emergency, the prime minister will need to give at least 28 days’ notice before a parliamentary sitting can be held.
“However, by using the Emergency Ordinance, this requirement can be set aside,” Najib wrote on Facebook, adding that emergency ordinances have so far been used to increase government funding, take over private facilities for government use and to dig into the National Trust Fund (KWAN).
The former prime minister said “there is a will, there is a way” for the government to reconvene Parliament.
“Be it constitutional, legally or from a health aspect (a sitting can be held), as all lawmakers have been vaccinated.”
On Wednesday, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, after a special meeting with the Malay rulers, had issued a statement calling for Parliament to reconvene soon to discuss and debate issues concerning the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rulers, in a separate statement, also called for the same and said the emergency should not be extended beyond August 1.
The PMO’s statement in response, however, said that it took note of the king’s decree and would take the subsequent steps according to the law and constitution.
The last Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara meetings were on December 14 and 28, 2020, respectively.
In February, the king decreed that Parliament should meet even during a state of emergency.
In his address to the nation on Tuesday about the country’s Covid-19 exit plan, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Parliament can reconvene under Phase 3 of the plan, which is around September or October, depending on indicators such as the number of daily Covid-19 cases, hospital capacity and vaccination rate. – TMI