PKR MP to challenge suspension of Parliament

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Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim is bent on challenging the suspension of Parliament that followed the proclamation of Emergency nationwide last Monday.

The PKR lawmaker who is also a lawyer by profession claimed there is no constitutional basis to the suspension as decided by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“From a legal perspective, the Emergency proclamation and Parliament’s suspension are two different matters.

Ahmad Zamzahuri

“It is illegal and unconstitutional. It must be challenged and opposed,” said Hassan of Parliament’s suspension in a statement last night.

Hassan said that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah consented to issue the Emergency proclamation under Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution after being satisfied with the advice submitted by the prime minister and Cabinet.

However, he stressed that the Emergency proclamation does not affect the suspension of Parliament.

“But to suspend Parliament, Muhyiddin must submit specific and strong reasons to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on why the current Parliament should be suspended,” he claimed, adding that the prime minister has failed to present these reasons.

Hassan remarked that Muhyiddin in his Tuesday announcement said the civil government would continue as usual and would not be replaced by military rule during the state of Emergency that is to last until August 1, or until the high number of Covid-19 cases are reduced to manageable levels, whichever comes first.

The PM also said there would be no parliamentary or state assembly sittings until a later date set by the Agong. Muhyiddin also suspended elections during this period.

The nationwide Emergency took effect on January 11 but was gazetted only a day later.

Hassan said it should be clearly stated that according to the Federal Constitution, the Emergency proclamation does not carry the automatic effect that Parliament must be suspended.

“It involves two different issues. Article 150 (2B) states that Parliament may convene when the Proclamation of Emergency is in force.

“Similarly, Article 150(3) provides that the Proclamation of Emergency is to be laid before both Houses of Parliament, meaning that Parliament is still functioning,” said the 70-year-old politician.

Hassan also pointed out that the history of Malaysia’s laws showed that the country had experienced four legally enforced Emergencies from 1971 to 2012.

He said Parliament was only suspended in 1969 until 1971 due to the events surrounding May 13 in 1969.

“At that time, the National Operations Council, or Majlis Gerakan Negara governed the country,” he said.

Hassan explained that during the previous 41 years, Malaysia held nine general elections and that Parliament had convened for nine terms from 1974 to 2008.

“This means that Parliament does exist and functions at all times, even if the four previous Emergency proclamations were not repealed,” he said.

Last Tuesday, Muhyiddin said both Parliament and state legislative assembly sessions as well as elections will be suspended until further notice following the Emergency invoked a day earlier.

The PM, whose thin support in Parliament is now in further question after two Umno MPs openly withdrew their backing, also said that he has decided against holding a snap election as it is his duty to protect people’s lives and the well-being of the nation amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and promised that it would happen as soon as the situation improves. – MMO