Attempts to get Agong to revoke ordinances before Dewan Rakyat’s special sitting tomorrow raise eyebrows

Efforts are being made to “advise” the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke several emergency ordinances currently enforced, as the Dewan Rakyat’s special sitting begins tomorrow.

Twentytwo13 has learnt that such a request by the government had been made to Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, last Friday. The Agong’s stand regarding the matter, however, remained unclear.

Insiders confirmed the move but did not want to comment further.

The move raises eyebrows as Al-Sultan Abdullah had, on June 16, decreed that Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible, to allow emergency ordinances and the National Recovery Plan to be debated by MPs. It was his third call for Parliament to re-open since February.

The decree by Al-Sultan Abdullah was done following his meetings with leaders from various political parties and the Malay rulers.

The Malay rulers, in a separate statement on June 16, also echoed Al-Sultan Abdullah’s call for Parliament to re-open.

Al-Sultan Abdullah, in honouring the democratic process, has left it to the elected representatives to discuss and scrutinise the ordinances, as it is they who should agree to annul the ordinances, before the King gives the royal seal.

If the Agong revokes the ordinances, the special sitting will end up being a briefing session of what the government had done throughout the state of emergency. This will not provide room for the MPs to raise questions about the tax-payers’ money that had been used for the various initiatives in the battle against Covid-19.

The optics would also not look good on Istana Negara if Al-Sultan Abdullah agreed to the request. Many had demanded for Parliament to resume, in order for pressing issues, especially those involving Covid-19, to be tabled and discussed in a transparent manner.

The Perikatan Nasional government had requested for a state of emergency to be declared last October but was rejected by Al-Sultan Abdullah.

Another request was made earlier this year, following the rise of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, and this saw the state of emergency being enforced from Jan 11 to Aug 1.

Since the state of emergency came into effect, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to the gazetting of ordinances, including the Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) 2021, Emergency Ordinance (Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities) (Amendment) 2021, and the Emergency Ordinance (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) 2021.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had, during a special address in conjunction with Perikatan Nasional’s first anniversary at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre in March, said with the proclamation of the state of emergency, these ordinances could be gazetted in short order, without having to go through a process in Parliament, which usually takes a long time.

“I am aware, and I understand the meaning of democracy. Therefore, none of these ordinances were intended to enable the prime minister to remain in power forever,” Muhyiddin added.

Malaysia recorded 17,045 new Covid-19 cases today – the highest daily toll since the start of the pandemic.