Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin must heed the palace’s opinion that parliament may sit amid a state of Emergency, said the Pakatan Harapan presidential council today.
The opposition coalition said it fully agreed with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s view that parliament should continue to function during a health crisis.
“We fully agree with the Agong’s decision to see parliament play its constitutional role in addressing important issues facing the people as part of efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as to plan measures to revive the country’s economy,” the council said in a statement signed by the heads of PKR, DAP and Amanah.
“The prime minister must therefore uphold the king’s wishes and immediately advise His Majesty to convene a parliamentary sitting as early as March as originally scheduled.”
The palace this afternoon released a statement conveying Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al Mustafa Billah Shah’s decision that parliament can meet during a state of Emergency.
Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the matter was enshrined in subparagraph 14 (1) (b) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 which states that Parliament should be called, prorogued and dissolved on a date as deemed appropriate by His Majesty on the advice of the prime minister.
In view of this, he said the perception by some quarters that the Emergency proclamation is preventing Parliament from sitting is inaccurate.
The king reached the decision after meeting with Dewan Negara Speaker Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun today.
During the audience, His Majesty had emphasised that Malaysia practises the democratic system based on the Supremacy of the Constitution principle and that each branch of the administration, be it the Executive, Judiciary or Legislature must abide by that principle.
The royal statement comes 45 days after the Agong acquiesced to the government’s request to declare a state of emergency until August 1 as a coronavirus containment measure.
The opposition has accused Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of resorting to emergency rule to stay in power after his Perikatan Nasional government lost the majority in parliament.