Opposition demands proof from govt that Agong consented to revocation of Emergency Ordinance

Questions have been raised following the government’s revelation today that all the Emergency ordinances had been revoked on July 21.

The revocation required royal consent by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. However, Twentytwo13 had yesterday, revealed that efforts to get the Agong’s consent were only carried out on Friday – two days after the Emergency Ordinance had allegedly been revoked.

The Emergency Ordinance was promulgated by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah under Article 150 (2B) of the Federal Constitution when both houses of Parliament were not in session.

The power to revoke, as such, must also be done by the Agong.

Section 150 (3) of the Federal Constitution states that the ordinances are to be laid before both Houses of Parliament, unless they are revoked. However, if the ordinances are revoked, there is no need for them to be laid before both Houses of Parliament.

At press time, it remained unclear if Al-Sultan Abdullah had revoked the Emergency Ordinance.

This led to opposition lawmakers in the country lambasting Putrajaya’s “pasar malam” (night market) style of announcing that all ordinances formulated during the Emergency had been revoked.

Leading the pack in its chorus of criticisms against the government was opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Port Dickson MP said the Dewan Rakyat speaker was well aware of the procedures of the august House, adding that it was not right for ‘sudden’ announcements to be made.

“You cannot announce that the declaration of Emergency is made today, and in another session, say the Emergency Ordinance was cancelled last week,” said Anwar.

Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan had earlier announced in the Dewan Rakyat that the Emergency ordinances enforced during the Emergency period had been revoked by the government on July 21. He said the government decided that it would not advise the Agong to extend the state of Emergency, which ends on Aug 1.

Takiyuddin had also said the annulment of the Emergency ordinances meant they were no longer relevant.

“Is this a pasar malam? This cannot be,” said Anwar.

“Was the decision to revoke the Emergency Ordinance presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong? And did it receive the King’s consent? The ruling government should present proof in writing,” Anwar said.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in a press conference this evening, said parliamentary procedures were not followed during this morning’s sitting.

“It was announced today that all ordinances approved during the Emergency had been revoked. But matters under the ordinances involve money.”

“So what happens to the money that has, or will be spent? If there is no debate (in Parliament), it would be difficult for the opposition, including Pejuang, to debate the position of the ordinances.

He added the government had also gone against the King’s decree on June 16 for Parliament to reconvene as soon as possible to ensure the Emergency Ordinance could be debated by MPs.

“Debating means the Dewan Rakyat has the right to reject, amend, or accept the ordinances and plans under the National Recovery Plan,” said the Langkawi MP, who is also Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairman.

“But instead, this morning, it became a ‘briefing’ session. The normal procedures of Parliament did not take place. We cannot accept this as a Parliament sitting,” he said.

Dr Mahathir added that he found it strange that when the Emergency was declared in January, the country was only recording daily cases of around 2,000, but now that cases are soaring up to 17,000 cases a day, the government is saying the Emergency will end.

Malaysia recorded 17,045 Covid-19 cases yesterday. Today, the number of new cases dropped to 14,516.

“This does not make sense. We are having a big problem. People are dying and are killing themselves, but this government only wants to be the government,” he added.

Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights today.

PRIVATE HOSPITALS NOT USING IVERMECTIN TO TREAT COVID-19 PATIENTS

The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia said private hospitals in the country are not using the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 patients.

Its president, Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh, said the association had consulted most of its 152 members, and none of them were using the drug to treat their patients.

Kuljit said all private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients in the country since January this year were using approved treatment protocols, with evidence-based guidelines set by the Health Ministry.

16.9 PER CENT OF POPULATION FULLY VACCINATED

A total of 17,317,553 vaccines had been administered since the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme began on Feb 24.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba said as of Sunday, 5,519,845 recipients, or 16.9 per cent of the population, had completed both doses, while 36.1 per cent, or 11,797,708 people, had received their first shots.

CONTRACT DOCTORS, MEDICAL OFFICERS STAGE PROTESTS NATIONWIDE

Several groups of medical officers in government hospitals gathered to take part in the ‘Hartal Doktor Kontrak’ protest today.

The gathering was to push for reforms in the system that offered no job security and hindered career progress for young doctors.

In Ipoh, 30 people, gathered at the main entrance of the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital this morning. The group, dressed in black, had earlier walked about 20m in silence. They gathered for five minutes.

A group of medical officers gathered at Hospital Kuala Lumpur for one hour. They dispersed at 12.08pm.

Other locations which saw contract doctors gathering were the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II in Kota Bharu, Shah Alam Hospital, and Melaka Hospital.

On Friday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the government had decided to provide contract medical officers, dentists and pharmacists, career opportunities at par with permanent medical officers.

The government also announced that contract officers would be offered fully paid study leave. While the government had offered to extend their contracts to a minimum of four years, it did not address the group’s demand of being offered permanent positions in government service.

GIVE US HARD EVIDENCE, DON’T JUST VENT ABOUT CORRUPTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA, SAYS MACC

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission urged the public to report cases of abuse of power, corruption or fraud to the agency, instead of making baseless allegations on social media.

In a statement, MACC strategic communications division director, Kamaruddin M. Ripin, said those who lodged reports and assisted the agency in its investigations would be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010.

“Come forward with hard evidence… don’t just make allegations without solid evidence on social media. Without evidence, allegations are useless in court and are a waste of time and money,” Kamaruddin said.

He added 509 people were nabbed between January and June this year for various offences, of which 51 per cent were members of the public, while 49 per cent comprised civil servants.