Zahid calls for re-opening of Parliament

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Umno today expressed its support for the re-opening of Parliament to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, citing the need to uphold democracy.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also hinted to the media that in his view, the formation of a government body similar to the National Operations Council (NOC) was currently unnecessary.

Speaking to the media after meeting the King, the Umno number one said he also delivered his party’s stance that the current state of emergency should not continue after Aug 1.

He added he also spoke to the king about economic issues affecting the people’s incomes.

“[…] it’s obvious the government in the past could deal with Covid-19 issues without the emergency.

Asyraf Hamzah/NST

“[…] Umno believes the Parliament should reconvene. This will ensure the country’s democratic system is protected and there is an element of accountability as well as checks and balances on all aspects of the country’s administration,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said Parliament was an important platform to raise the people’s concerns, especially on issues such as a loan moratorium, price hikes and government aid among other things.

He also said government aid should not only be limited to the B40 group and that it should be extended to other economic classes that have been affected as well.

The state of emergency and the Parliament were among issues highlighted by various party leaders who took turns meeting with the king since Wednesday.

Yesterday, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad revealed that he had suggested the re-establishment of a NOC-type government to the king similar to the one set up in the aftermath of the May 13 riots in 1969.

Pakatan Harapan today rejected the idea by the Pejuang pro-tem chairperson and instead urged an end to the state of emergency and the re-opening of Parliament.

The coalition said the solution to people’s problems caused by Covid-19 and other political problems was through a functioning democratic avenue that acted as the best space to listen to the people.

When asked if the issue of a NOC was brought up in his conversation with the king, Ahmad Zahid replied in the negative.

“We did not discuss the matter and I think the issue is one that is out of line with the present situation because the state of emergency already covers those matters (that a NOC is to handle).

“But it has been used to reach other purposes,” he added. – Malaysiakini