Better wait for Emergency to end before reconvening Parliament, says Deputy Speaker

GEORGE TOWN: Attempts to reconvene Parliament using video streaming technology must take into account existing enactments, especially since the country is still under a proclamation of Emergency, says Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon (pic).

The Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker said if the reconvening of Parliament contravened the Emergency Proclamation, it was better to wait until the Emergency was lifted.

"Now we are still under the Emergency, it is better for us to wait. Reconvening Parliament, even using online technology, might contravene the Federal Constitution," he said.

Rashid said for the time being, MPs should focus on helping the Prime Minister and the government of the day tackle Covid-19 issues.

He was commenting on the possibility of convening Parliament sessions through online sessions to allow MPs to ask questions about issues concerning the country.

Meanwhile, Balik Pulau MP Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik disagreed with Rashid, saying that the King had said that a parliamentary sitting may be convened during the Emergency.

"Parliament should be convened because we want to ask questions about several issues, including the approval of RM3bil to purchase Covid-19 vaccines," he said.

In February, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said that Parliament can be convened during the state of Emergency, based on the advice of the Prime Minister.

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 appropriate by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and based on the advice of the Prime Minister.

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