PMO maintains revocations done according to law

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The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) today maintained that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and de facto law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan had observed and followed all the due processes under the Federal Constitution when announcing the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances (EOs) on Monday.

In a statement today, it said Muhyiddin had written a letter to the Agong on July 23 advising the ruler to revoke the EOs, and again in an audience on July 27.

“The government views all actions taken adhered to the laws and the Federal Constitution,” it said.

The PMO, in an apparent reply to a royal rebuke earlier today, said Takiyuddin and Idrus had had an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on July 24 to explain the government’s stand.

The PMO, however, did not specifically mention the statement by the Palace that Putrajaya had not obtained the Agong’s consent to revoke the EOs.

The prime minister advised the people to remain calm and allow the issue to be resolved in accordance with the law and the constitution, in response to the uproar caused by the announced revocation and the Palace’s statement.

The PMO said it was decided during a special Cabinet meeting on July 21 that the Cabinet would advise the Agong not to extend the Emergency past Aug 1, and that the King would also be advised to revoke all EOs.

On July 22, the PMO received a draft of the Emergency (Repeal) Ordinance 2021 prepared by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, which provided that all ordinances promulgated by the Agong during the state of emergency would be revoked from July 21.

The statement went on to give a chronological rundown of what transpired:

On July 23, Muhyiddin sent a letter to the Agong requesting that he heed the advice of the Cabinet, in line with Article 40(1) of the Federal Constitution which states the Agong shall act on the advice of the executive but is entitled to request for additional information.

On July 24, Takiyuddin and Idrus were granted an audience to provide more details on the Cabinet’s advice. The statement further cited Article 40(1A) of the constitution, which said the Agong “shall accept and act in accordance with such advice”.

On July 26, Takiyuddin told MPs that the ordinances had been revoked, which the prime minister’s office said was a factual statement made in the interest of transparency.

The PMO’s statement added: “Opposition MPs demanded that the Dewan Rakyat revoke the Emergency Ordinance promulgated by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“Following this, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and law), as the minister responsible for legal affairs, informed the members of the Dewan Rakyat that the government, that is, the Cabinet, had decided to revoke the Emergency Ordinances.”

On July 27, Muhyiddin and Idrus were granted an audience with the Agong where they explained their position and advised the King of the Cabinet’s decision to revoke the ordinances.

“The prime minister also acknowledged the government’s view that all the Emergency Ordinances should not be revoked by Parliament as the Cabinet had already advised His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke them.”

The statement from the PMO added that this showed that all its actions were taken in an orderly manner and in accordance with the provisions of the law and the Federal Constitution.

“The Prime Minister emphasises that in carrying out his duties and responsibilities, it is important for him to act in accordance with the law and the constitution.”

This clarification comes after the Palace released a statement earlier today to say that Putrajaya had not obtained the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent to revoke the emergency ordinances.

Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said Articles 150(2B) and 150(3) of the Federal Constitution clearly gave the authority for the enactment and revocation of ordinances to the King.

He said the King was aggrieved by Takiyuddin’s statement on Monday as he had yet to consent to the revocation and Takiyuddin was criticised for misleading Parliament.

The statement from the palace also said the Agong was “very disappointed” at the government’s refusal to allow the emergency ordinances to be debated in accordance with Article 150(3).

The PMO maintained that it had fulfilled Article 150(3) by laying the emergency ordinances before Parliament.

The article also allows Parliament to annul the emergency ordinances “if not sooner revoked”.

Istana Negara said that while the ruler acknowledges his constitutional obligation to act in accordance with the government’s advice, it added that the ruler also has a duty to speak out if anyone had acted unconstitutionally.