Harapan reps on panel advising Agong push for Parliament to reopen

Parliament sitting very important for checks and balance on decisions by executive, say Harapan MPs.

The Pakatan Harapan representatives on the independent panel advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the emergency and Covid-19 pandemic said they have conveyed their firm position for the suspension on Parliament to be lifted.

The panel, set up following the proclamation of emergency, held its first meeting on Feb 18.

During the meeting, Harapan’s representatives comprising Kulim-Bandar Bharu MP Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad, and Seremban MP Loke Siew Fook expressed their views that Parliament should be reconvened soon even if the emergency is not lifted.

They added that the Parliament sitting can proceed with standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the Health Ministry to ensure sufficient precautions against Covid-19.

“The Parliament sitting is very important to ensure all agenda and measures to curb Covid-19 are debated by MPs on top of checks and balances on all decisions by the executive.

“Reconvening Parliament will also instil confidence among the international community and foreign investors that Malaysia remains committed to parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.

“Therefore, we consistently conveyed this opinion during the meeting of the independent committee on the emergency and hoped that other members of the committee will agree with our position,” they said.

The Harapan MPs added that they hoped this could be a collective position by the committee to advise the Agong on reconvening Parliament.

The committee is led by former chief justice Arifin Zakaria.

An emergency proclamation was made on Jan 11 after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consented to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s request.

Muhyiddin said the emergency was necessary to combat the Covid-19 pandemic but critics accused him of trying to cling to power after losing his majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

Parliament and elections were suspended following the emergency proclamation.

However, there are renewed calls to allow Parliament to convene amid various businesses being allowed to reopen despite the ongoing pandemic.

Muhyiddin promised to hold elections after the pandemic is resolved.

MALAYSIAKINI

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