King says Parliament can convene during emergency

Agong states his view that Parliament can resume on a date he deems suitable upon PM’s advice.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said the Parliament sitting can convene during the emergency order.

In a statement, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the king has stated his view that Parliament can resume on a date deemed suitable by the ruler upon the advice of the prime minister.

Fadil added that the king had granted an audience to Dewan Negara speaker Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun at Istana Negara today.

He said the matter was enshrined in subparagraph 14(1)(b) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 which states that Parliament should be called, prorogued and dissolved on a date as deemed appropriate by His Majesty on the advice of the prime minister.

Fadil said the perception by some quarters that the emergency proclamation is preventing Parliament from sitting was inaccurate.

This was because the king had consented to the emergency on Jan 12 merely as a proactive measure to curb the Covid-19 outbreak which has claimed over 1,000 lives, he added.

The move to suspend Parliament had irked many lawmakers on both sides of the divide, who accused Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of using the emergency to prevent his government from falling.

The Perikatan Nasional government was on the verge of collapsing after several lawmakers withdrew their support.

The lawmakers were Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz, Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Their withdrawal reduced the number of lawmakers backing Muhyiddin to only 109.

Both former prime ministers Najib Abdul Razak and Dr Mahathir Mohamad have slammed Muhyiddin for suspending Parliament during the emergency.

Several parties such as electoral watchdog Bersih, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, and Mahathir’s stalwart supporter Khairuddin Abu Hassan had filed court challenges over the validity of Muhyiddin’s advice for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to proclaim the present emergency.

Last month, Anwar claimed that a majority of MPs had appealed to the king to reverse royal assent for the emergency and that a letter was sent to the Agong to reconsider the proclamation.

The emergency is in effect until August. A special committee has been formed to advise the king on the emergency order and when it should end.

Meanwhile, the Pakatan Harapan presidential council called on Muhyiddin to immediately advise the king to call for the Parliament sitting by March as consented by the king in the parliamentary calendar prior to the emergency.

The council stated so in a statement signed by Anwar, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.


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