- February 24, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Daily News
- PARLIAMENT may convene during a state of emergency, said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al Mustafa Billah Shah.
- In a statement on 24 Feb 21, comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the king made the decision after meeting with Dewan Negara speaker Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun on 24 Feb 21.
- The statement comes 45 days after the Agong acquiesced to the government’s request to declare a state of emergency until 1 Aug 21 as a coronavirus containment measure.
- He said some quarters are erroneous in thinking that the house may not sit during a state of emergency. Fadil stated it is the king’s view that emergency rule was to be a proactive measure to mitigate the coronavirus crisis.
- In response, opposition lawmakers clamoured to push the PM to heed the King’s advice.
- 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 on 24 Feb 21.
- 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.
- “The prime minister must therefore uphold the king’s wishes and immediately advise His Majesty to convene a parliamentary sitting as early as Mar 21 as originally scheduled.”, it added.
- In the PH presidential council’s statement, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng thanked the Agong for his stance, saying it is also the desire of most MPs that the house should meet to provide oversight on the government.
- On their part, UMNO welcomed the King’s decree that Parliament can convene during a state of emergency, said the party’s information chief, Shahril Hamdan. He said the Agong’s decision shows that the king has placed parliamentary democracy as a priority.
- Shahril said the stance for Parliament to reconvene as soon as possible was in line with the desire to preserve legislative oversight on government decisions.
- “It is this stance that has prompted the Umno leadership to call for a solution that allows a parliamentary session.”, he opined.
- Sharil was referring to Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said, from Umno, who had supported the move for Parliament to reconvene.
- On 17 Feb 21, Azalina questioned why the government appeared to refuse any consideration of improvising or adapting Parliamentary sittings, as other countries have done, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Meanwhile, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said the Agong had powers under the constitution to call for Parliament to convene without the advice of the prime minister, even under the emergency.
- Constitutionally, parliament has six months – or until 29 Jun 21 – to reconvene before it is automatically dissolved.
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