Parliament may still be convened during Emergency, says Istana Negara


PETALING JAYA: Parliament can be convened during the state of Emergency, says Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

In a statement, the Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said His Majesty had expressed his views that Parliament can convene on a date deemed as appropriate by Yang di-Pertuan Agong and based on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Ahmad Fadil said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had granted an audience to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim Wednesday (Feb 24).

During the session, His Majesty stressed that Malaysia is a country that practises democratic principles based on the Federal Constitution, and all the country's institutional branches, including the Executive, Judiciary and Parliament must adhere to those principles.

"The matter is outlined under sub paragraph 14(1) (b) of The Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 that stated Parliament can be called, prorogued and dissolved on a date deemed appropriate by His Majesty on the advice of the Prime Minister.

"As such, the perception by some parties that a Proclamation of Emergency will prevent Parliament from sitting is inaccurate," said Ahmad Fadil in the statement.

On Jan 12, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said no parliamentary and state assembly sittings, general election, state or by-election will be held during the Emergency period.

In a special address, Muhyiddin said the common practise of holding a by-election within 60 days of a seat being declared vacant; and within the same period for a state election after the legislative assembly is dissolved, is now suspended.

"It must be stressed that the King had given consent to the Prime Minister regarding the Emergency Proclamation on Jan 12 merely as a proactive step to curb the spread of Covid-19 that had taken more than 1,000 lives so far," said Ahmad Fadil.

The King had also taken note on matters relating to culture, heritage and ethics of conduct of Members of the Dewan Rakyat and the Senate, while discharging their responsibilities during debates so they will remain to be seen and regarded highly.

On the development of the Covid-19 pandemic, His Majesty also expressed his appreciation to the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and other relevant government agencies on their efforts to manage the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme which kicked-off on Wednesday. The programme will be implemented in stages for a few months.

"His Majesty also expressed his deepest gratitude to our frontliners in their sacrifices given, regardless of time and energy, in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

"His Majesty also urged the rakyat to extend their prayers together so the country will remain protected and will be free from the pandemic as soon as possible," said Ahmad Fadil.

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