PM should take heed of King's view and convene Parliament by March, says Pakatan

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should take heed of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's views and convene Parliament by March this year, says Pakatan Harapan's presidential council.

In a joint statement by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu, they said the King's view is that Parliament may be convened during the state of Emergency, in line with sub-article 14(1) of the Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) 2021.

"It is also the stand of Pakatan and a majority of MPs that if the executive and the judiciary can function during the Emergency Proclamation, then Parliament must also play its role in ensuring government administration and check-and-balance mechanisms.

"Therefore, we uphold the King's intention to restore the position of Parliament to play an important role in the Federal Constitution, to highlight issues faced by the people in our efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to strategise steps to revive the national economy.

"The Prime Minister must take heed and immediately advise the King to convene Parliament as early as March, as decreed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the Parliamentary Calendar," they said Wednesday (Feb 24).

Earlier, 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 appropriate by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah based on the advice of the prime minister.

Ahmad Fadil also 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 on Wednesday (Feb 24).

During the session, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had stressed that Malaysia is a country that practices 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 King also stressed that the consent given to the Prime Minister on the Emergency Proclamation was merely a proactive step to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Under the State of Emergency that was proclaimed on Jan 12, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said no Parliamentary and state assembly sittings, general election, state or by-election will be held during the Emergency period.

Calls to convene Parliament also came from Barisan Nasional leaders, where Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, in a letter to Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, had stated that she was "bewildered" that Malaysia is unable to or refuses to find ways to facilitate parliamentary sittings.

Azalina had said that among the measures to facilitate Parliamentary sittings include reducing the quorum of MPs, fixing flexible sitting houses and broadcasting chamber proceedings.

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