PMO defends bypassing Parliament, says PM already advised Agong

It says the Agong is required by the Constitution to act according to the govt’s advice.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s office today defended his decision not to revoke the emergency ordinances through a vote in Parliament after Istana Negara reprimanded the Perikatan Nasional government for failing to act in line with the Federal Constitution.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in a statement today, said Muhyiddin had advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to annul the emergency ordinances even before the special Parliament sitting convened on July 26.

The PMO added that the Agong is to act in accordance with the prime minister’s advice under Article 40(1) of the Federal Constitution.

“The cabinet already decided to advise the Agong to revoke the emergency ordinances before the special Parliament sitting convened.

“The government is of the view that all actions taken were in line with the law and the Federal Constitution.

“The prime minister emphasised that, in carrying out his duties, it is essential for him to act in accordance with the law and Federal Constitution,” it said.

The PMO said it had on July 22 received the draft of the ordinance annulment which stated that all the ordinances assented by the Agong during the emergency which began on Jan 11 will be cancelled effective July 21.

It explained that the prime minister then wrote to the Agong on July 23 to advise the king to annul the emergency ordinances.

However, the PMO said the Agong on July 24 summoned de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan and attorney-general Idrus Harun to explain the matter.

Istana Negara revealed earlier today that the ruler had asked Takiyuddin and Idrus to ensure that the emergency ordinances are revoked through a debate and subsequent vote in Parliament, something which the PN government refused to comply with.

The PMO, in its statement this evening, reproduced the text of Article 40(1) which states that the ruler may request for more information but is to act on the advice of the cabinet and Article 40(1A) that states that monarch must accept such advice.

Opposition blamed for creating ‘confusion’

Elaborating on the chronology, the PMO said Takiyuddin had on the morning of July 27 explained in Parliament that the cabinet had decided to revoke the emergency ordinances in response to the opposition’s demand for the revocation to go through Parliament.

“This was a statement of fact with the intention to inform the Dewan Rakyat of the real situation,” it said.

However, it noted that this had raised questions, prompting Muhyiddin and Idrus to seek an audience with the ruler at noon on the same day.

“During the audience, the prime minister again conveyed the cabinet’s advice about the annulment of the emergency ordinances and clarified the confusion that the opposition tried to create during the Dewan Rakyat sitting.

“The prime minister conveyed the government’s view that all of the emergency ordinances do not need to be annulled by Parliament as the cabinet had already advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to annul them,” the PMO said.

Furthermore, the PMO said the special Parliament sitting’s agenda did not include the annulment of the emergency ordinances.

Earlier today, Istana Negara in a statement said the Agong was “very disappointed” at the government’s refusal to allow the emergency ordinances to be debated in accordance with Article 150(3).

The PMO maintained that it had fulfilled Article 150(3) by laying the emergency ordinances before Parliament.

The article also allows Parliament to annul the emergency ordinances “if not sooner revoked”.

However, Istana Negara said the government’s declared revocation was never assented to by the king.

It also criticised Takiyuddin for misleading Parliament.

Istana Negara said that while the ruler acknowledges his constitutional obligation to act in accordance with the government’s advice, it added that the ruler also has a duty to speak out if anyone had acted unconstitutionally.


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