Anwar’s motion on emergency laws submitted too early, so speaker rejects it

Azhar says Port Dickson MP also raised multiple topics in a single motion which violated Standing Orders.

Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun has thrown out opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s motion for submitting it too early, among other reasons.

In a letter to the Port Dickson MP, Azhar explained that the notice for the special sitting was issued on July 15 and Anwar’s motion was submitted on July 12.

“Therefore, the motion by the honourable MP is not in the order paper because it was submitted before the notice,” Azhar said.

Anwar’s motion had requested for a debate on the proclamation of emergency, emergency ordinances, Covid-19 pandemic related spending, the ongoing vaccination programme and the National Recovery Plan.

On June 29, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decreed that he wished to see MPs debate the proclamation of emergency and emergency ordinances.

Azhar said the fact that Anwar had raised multiple topics in a single motion, was in violation of Standing Order 33(1) and 46(3). Therefore, the motion cannot be accommodated.

“I am also of the opinion that the motion violates Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution,” he added.

Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun

The speaker also cited Standing Order 11(3) which states that the order of business for special Dewan Rakyat sittings was the sole prerogative of the prime minister.

According to the order paper for the five-day Dewan Rakyat sitting beginning Monday, five cabinet ministers will conduct briefings for the House.

The order paper explicitly states that MPs are allowed to question the ministers and air their opinions.

Additionally, on Monday, three proclamations of emergencies and nine emergency ordinances will be “tabled”. Unlike the instructions for the ministerial briefings, the order paper does not state that the emergency ordinances will be debated.

Under Article 150(7) of the Federal Constitution, the emergency ordinances will still be in effect for six months after the expiry of the emergency, which in this case is Aug 1.

These emergency ordinances provide the government extraordinary powers to pass supplementary budgets without Parliament scrutiny, prosecute “fake news”, seize property for the Covid-19 response and grant the military more powers, among others.


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