Emergency Ordinance amendment: No need for Dewan, assemblies to convene to approve supplementary allocations

PETALING JAYA: The Federal Government or state governments that need supplementary allocations for use during the current state of emergency can get them approved by the Treasury or heads of state, including chief ministers or mentris besar, effective Wednesday (March 31), states a newly passed amendment to the Emergency Ordinance.

The new amendment, inserted as “Section 10” into the Emergency Ordinance 2021, means these allocations need not be passed by the Dewan Rakyat or state assemblies, as is usually the case.

All allocations and provisions can now be approved by either the Treasury, the chief ministers, MBs or heads of the state.

There will be no need for Dewan Rakyat or state assemblies to pass resolutions as long as the state of emergency is in place.

Parliament and state assemblies currently cannot convene during the state of emergency which was proclaimed on Jan 11 and is expected to end in August.

According to the Emergency (Essential Powers) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 passed by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on March 31, the amendment also allows for withdrawals for cases which are allowed under Treasury Instructions or Treasury circulars as long as the state of emergency is in force.

The amendment states that this new section temporarily puts aside “paragraph 4(b) of the Government Funding Act 1983 [Act 275] and the provision relating to the application of moneys provided in paragraph 2(2)(b) of the Treasury Bills (Local) Act 1946 [Act 188]”, which state the need for Dewan Rakyat and state assemblies to convene for allocations and provisions to be approved.

The temporary financial provision was published on the Attorney General's Chambers website on Wednesday and is stated to have been promulgated by the King on March 25.

The federal gazette says: "Notwithstanding any provision in the Federal Constitution and the Constitution of a State relating to expenditure charged on the Federal Consolidated Fund or the Consolidated Fund of a State, any supplementary expenditure requiring an Act or Enactment or resolution of the House of Representatives or Legislative Assembly of a State, and withdrawal from any of the Consolidated Funds, for so long as the emergency is in force, any such expenditure or withdrawal from the Federal Consolidated Fund or the Consolidated Fund of a State may be made with the approval of the Treasury or the Mentri Besar or Chief Minister of a State, as the case may be in such manner as may be provided by any written law or any Treasury Instructions or Treasury Circulars relating thereto for the time being in force.”

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