MPs: ‘Failed’ Emergency Ordinances a political manoeuvre that caused unprecedented constitutional crisis

Several opposition lawmakers have labelled the Emergency Ordinances as a “failure”, saying it did not help reduce the number of Covid-19 cases through most of 2020 and 2021.

They also hope answers would be provided as the motion to repeal the Emergency Ordinances, and the winding up by the relevant ministries, were finally tabled in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The seven ordinances are the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance, 2021, Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, Emergency (Employees’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodations and Amenities) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2) Ordinance, 2021, Emergency (Essential Powers) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, Emergency (Offenders Compulsory Attendance) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 and the Emergency (National Trust Fund) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021.

There was also a suggestion to re-examine Article 40(1) of the Federal Constitution. The article reads: “In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution; but shall be entitled, at his request, to any information concerning the government of the Federation, which is available to the Cabinet.”

Pulai MP Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub labelled the ordinances “a lifeline” for those who wanted to hold on to their slim majority.

He was referring to former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who led his Perikatan Nasional government before it collapsed after just over a year in Putrajaya.

Salahuddin reminded the Dewan Rakyat about the events that led to the constitutional crisis in July when Muhyiddin’s government decided to revoke the ordinances without getting the sign-off from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The matter irked Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who went on record to say that he had not consented to the revocation of the Emergency Ordinances. The King added that he was “very disappointed” with the statement made in Parliament that the government had revoked the ordinances.

Muhyiddin, however, had then claimed that the steps taken to revoke the Emergency Ordinances were in accordance with the nation’s laws and the Federal Constitution. Muhyiddin went on to quote Article 40(1) and Article 40(1A) of the Federal Constitution. This resulted in a constitutional crisis, with lawmakers and legal experts providing their interpretations of the Federal Constitution.

“It’s time we re-examine Article 40(1) … what happened with regard to the ordinances during PN’s time in office… lessons should be learnt from them,” said Salahuddin.

Padang Serai MP M. Karupaiya said he was not against the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines, but said Malaysians had a right to know the breakdown of the purchases.

“The Emergency Ordinances allowed the then government to use public funds without any checks and balances.”

Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad added the Emergency Ordinances were a political manoeuvre that resulted in an unprecedented constitutional crisis.

“Even the King reprimanded a minister (then law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan). Here, we have a minister who created fake news,” said Nik Nazmi.

“This will kill the people’s trust in us. We are going to implement Undi18 and automatic registration to vote. I describe those who can vote under Undi18 as the ‘TikTok generation’ who are sceptical about politics. If this continues, we cannot blame them if they don’t want to get involved in politics.”

Nik Nazmi added that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who was a senior minister during Muhyiddin’s time in office, cannot “wash his hands” off the issue.

“In fact, many of the same ministers (today) were there before (in PN). They cannot wash their hands.”

He said the then government had “gambled with the lives of people”. The people were told that the Emergency Ordinances would help curb the pandemic, but the number of Covid-19 cases kept rising.

Several lockdowns were enforced in Malaysia since March 18, 2020, and the country experienced several waves that saw the daily number of Covid-19 cases spiking. The months of January, May and August were the worst this year, with over 20,000 cases recorded in a day.

He also singled out the Education Ministry, which had committed to nine direct negotiations this year alone, without going through a tender process. This included DidikTV, which was awarded to Media Prima.

Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights today.

ZAHID GIVES STATEMENT TO PAC ON RM9B COMBAT SHIPS SAGA

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi gave his statement to the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) regarding the Defence Ministry’s failure to supply six second-generation Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) costing RM9 billion.

Ahmad Zahid, who served as Defence Minister from April 10, 2009 to May 16, 2013, spent two hours explaining the issue, which is said to be the biggest defence procurement in the ministry’s history.

Ahmad Zahid was the sixth witness called by the committee over the issue. Others included the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Muez Abdul Aziz, former Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar, and Boustead Naval Shipyard chief operations officer, Low Kok Chiang.

“PAC views this issue seriously because until October 2020, RM6.083 billion had been paid out, but none of the LCS had been completed, although according to the schedule, two of the ships should have been built,” PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said in a statement.

PAC would also visit the LCS dockyard in Lumut, Perak.

DEWAN NEGARA APPROVES THREE NEW SELECT COMMITTEES

A motion to pass the establishment of three Select Committees has been approved in the Dewan Negara.

The three Select Committees are on People’s Well-being, Socio-Culture, Communication and Education, and Integrity and Anti-Corruption Governance.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the Select Committees were empowered to call any individual before them in relation to their respective subject matters.

DUO CHARGED WITH FRIEND’S MURDER

A farmer and a fishmonger were charged in the Port Dickson magistrate’s court with the murder of their friend, who was a mechanic.

R. Kalaichelvam, 45, and S. Vickna Raja, 32, nodded after the charge was read out to them before magistrate V. Vanita. No plea was recorded.

The two men were charged with murdering A. Kannan, 44, at a mini-market in Linggi between 6.30pm on Oct 12, and 8am the following day. The two face the death penalty if found guilty.

The court set Dec 8 for mention.

HEINEKEN LATEST TO REVISE BEER PRICES

Heineken Malaysia is revising the prices of several of its beverages.

In a list that was shared via WhatsApp, among the alcoholic beverages that would see a price hike starting Nov 1 included Guinness, Tiger, Anchor and Heineken.

Heineken Malaysia Bhd, in a statement to Twentytwo13, said: “As our raw materials are largely imported, the global inflation in commodity prices of malt and packaging materials, and supply chain disruptions – including volatility in foreign exchange rates – have put substantial pressures on our input cost.”

On Oct 18, Twentytwo13 reported that Carlsberg Malaysia was also revising its price list, starting Nov 15.

SELANGOR ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION TO INFORM SPORTS COMMISSIONER OF EGM’S DECISION

The Selangor Athletics Association will submit the decisions made during its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) yesterday to the Sports Commissioner’s Office.

Among the decisions made included stripping its president, Datuk S.M. Muthu, of his presidency.

The affiliates are also seeking new venues and dates for the nomination and annual general meeting. The association’s AGM was initially supposed to be held on Nov 7, in Klang.

The EGM was called following claims of “missing” fixed deposits – amounting to RM110,000 – and development funds from the state sports council.

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