PH states aim for August assembly sittings

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Opposition states Selangor, Penang and Negri Sembilan are ready to hold state assembly sittings as early as August.

This is subject to the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as stipulated in the emergency ordinance, said the state leaders.

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said they would immediately seek royal consent to commence the state assemblies without delay.

The state assembly speakers of the two states also expressed readiness for sittings to start.

Under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, the power to convene the state assembly rests with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after consultation with the sultan or governor of the state.

Selangor Assembly Speaker Ng Suee Lin told The Malaysian Insight that the House could meet as early as August when the emergency ends.

Ng, who is the Sekinchan assemblyman, said the menteri besar would be seeking Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s consent to start a session.

“I will send a letter to Tuanku (Selangor Sultan) to inform him of the preparations while the menteri besar will meet Tuanku to discuss these matters,” he said.

Amirudin had earlier said that talks were ongoing with the speaker to set a date for a house sitting and that the plan would afterward be presented to the Selangor ruler and then the Agong for consent.

Chow in a separate statement said the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Penang would write to the Agong for the consent of the state assembly sitting.

The move to have the state assembly sitting was made following the advice of the Malay Rulers on Wednesday who agreed that the sessions should convene immediately, just like Parliament as advised by the Agong.

The Agong, after a meeting with the Malay rulers, issued a statement calling for parliament to sit and debate the Covid-19 response.

The Malay rulers called for the same in a separate statement. They also said the emergency should not be extended beyond August 1.

The king said parliament would be allowed to debate the emergency ordinances and national recovery plan to exit the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parliament and state assembly sittings have till now been suspended because of the emergency order effective from January 11 to August 1.

Umno-led states ready, too

Negri Sembilan assembly speaker Zulkefly Mohamad Omar told The Malaysian Insight a sitting will be held as soon as possible.

“We really want to open the session but because of the emergency we can’t do it. It’s not that we don’t want to… we want to.

“The rulers have decreed the opening and we will do it as soon as possible,” he said.

Earlier this week, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that the Pakatan Harapan presidential council in its last meeting agreed that the three states governed by the pact should convene their respective state assembly sessions in August.

The Umno-led Pahang state assembly on May 25 announced that it would convene from August 16, if the declaration of emergency was not extended beyond Aug 1.

Notices have also been issued to the assemblymen to prepare questions for the sitting.

Yesterday Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad said the Umno-led state was ready to hold a state assembly sitting soon in accordance with the provisions of the state’s constitution. – TMI