Opposition: Urgent explanation needed

EMOTIONS ran high again on the second day of the special Parliament meeting after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan did not explain the sudden revocation of the Emergency Ordinances on July 21.

Yesterday, Opposition MPs demanded that Takiyuddin explain whether or not the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances.

In response, Takiyuddin said he could only give his answer on Monday, in line with the ruling by Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun that he explain issues connected to the Emergency Ordinances on that day.

“So, I humbly pray that everyone be fair with the government. I have been ordered to explain the Emergency Proclamation next Monday and that is all I ask,” Takiyuddin said, triggering shouts of disapproval from several MPs.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba was scheduled to brief the House on the government’s action plan on Covid-19 when Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong) interjected on a point of order.

Citing Standing Orders (14)(1)(g), Gobind said the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances must be explained by Takiyuddin as the de facto law minister, contending that the power to revoke the Emergency Ordinances was with the King.

“This is an important issue of public interest. We want to know what happened on July 21. Did the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consent to the revocation of the Emergency Proclamation and did it follow procedure?” he said.

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PH-Sepang) rose in support of Gobind, as he pointed out that the courts and prosecutors were in a quandary at present as the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances would have implications on court cases after July 21.

“This is uncertainty. It is not good for the country and investors. Ordinances must not only be debated, but also laid down in the House. There must be a resolution on the Proclamation,” he said.

M. Kulasegaran (PH-Ipoh Barat) asked whether the revocation of the Emergency Proclamation was an “afterthought” by the government.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who was chairing the session, said the Speaker had ruled on the matter and she could not overrule him.

She said she understood the MPs’ concerns, adding that the matter was a hot topic on social media.

Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) said based on news reports, more than 2,200 compounds were issued between July 21 and 25.

Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (Warisan-Semporna) said the Federal Constitution clearly stated the concept of separation of powers, with Parliament, the King and the Executive having their respective powers.

“The country must be led according to the law. We should not abuse it to serve our interests,” he said.

In trying to calm things down, Azalina said the dissatisfied MPs could raise the matter later with the Speaker.

This led Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) to say that MPs were only raising a simple question with Takiyuddin and he should be able to answer whether the Emergency Ordinances’ revocation was consented to by the King.

“If it isn’t consented to by the King, then apologise and rectify it. It’s that simple,” he said.

On Monday, Takiyuddin said the government revoked the Emergency Ordinances on July 21 and did not plan to advise the King to extend the nationwide state of Emergency beyond Aug 1.

His announcement was criticised, with many MPs saying that such a major policy decision should have been tabled and debated in Parliament.

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