Convening of Parliament is a return to democracy, says James Masing

Tan Sri James Masing. -filepic

KUCHING: The possible convening of Parliament during the current state of emergency will be a return to democracy, says Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri James Masing.

He said this also meant that a general election could take place, even more so as the Covid-19 vaccination has started.

"However, the standard operating procedures must continue to be strictly adhered to if Parliament is convened or elections held.

"In our excitement at the return of democratic principles, we must not forget why the emergency was declared in the first place. It was to contain the spread and menace of Covid-19.

"If political parties can follow the advice and instructions by the Health Ministry and Election Commission, there is no reason why Parliament can't convene and a general election held, especially now that vaccination is available," he said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 25).

On Wednesday (Feb 24), Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah decreed that Parliament can convene during the current state of emergency.

Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the King’s view was that Parliament could be convened on a date deemed appropriate by His Majesty based on the advice of the Prime Minister.

He said the King, in an audience granted to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim on Wednesday (Feb 24), stressed that Malaysia practised democracy based on the Federal Constitution and the executive, judiciary and Parliament must adhere to these principles.

The King also stressed that the consent given to the Prime Minister on the Emergency Proclamation on Jan 12 was merely a proactive step to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said no Parliamentary and state assembly sittings or elections would be held during the Emergency period.

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