Deputy Speaker: Parliament not reconvening on March 8

PETALING JAYA: Parliament will not be reconvening on March 8, according to Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon.

He said that March 8 date was no longer in force since the Emergency was declared.

Rashid said that if there were several procedures that had to be followed before parliament could reconvene.

He added that the notice for a meeting by the Parliament secretariat to the members of parliament must be given 28 days in advance.

Sources said the takwim (calendar) page on the Parliament site was an old version which was not updated after the Emergency was proclaimed.

The Parliament website earlier stated that the first meeting of the Fourth Session of the 14th Parliament would convene for a month from March 8 to April 8, which was reported by news portals.

The Parliament calendar page was last updated on Nov 9, 2020.

However, as at the time of writing, the website stated the calender page was being updated.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had decreed last week that Parliament could still 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, upon the advice of the Prime Minister.

Ahmad Fadil said as enshrined under paragraph 14(1)(b) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, Parliament must be called, prorogued and dissolved on a date deemed appropriate by the King, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

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

The King had proclaimed a state of emergency nationwide from Jan 12 to Aug 1 as a proactive measure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahmad Fadil said it must be stressed that the King had given consent to the Prime Minister on the Emergency Proclamation on Jan 12 merely as a proactive step to curb the spread of the pandemic which had claimed more than 1,000 lives in the country thus far.

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