Malay rulers may meet next week to discuss Emergency ordinances imbroglio

The Malay rulers could once again convene at Istana Negara as early as next week, following the revocation of the Emergency ordinances that has resulted in a constitutional crisis.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who turned 62 on Friday, is known to uphold the spirit of syura (consultation) and would most likely want to brief his brother Rulers about the impasse that had shocked Malaysia and left the Parliament hanging, last week.

In fact, the Monday’s Dewan Rakyat special sitting has been postponed.

The meeting could also possibly discuss the royal institution’s stand over the matter.

Al-Sultan Abdullah had repeatedly consulted the Malay rulers in the past. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had wanted to call for a state of emergency last October, but the Agong did not agree to it, following his meeting with the other Rulers.

In January, Muhyiddin had once again asked that a state of Emergency be declared due to the spike in Covid-19 cases. The Rulers were again consulted over the matter, and this time, the Agong assented to it.

On June 4, Twentytwo13 reported that the Malay rulers could meet to discuss the state of affairs in the country. On June 16, a meeting was held between the Agong and the Malay rulers in Kuala Lumpur.

Following that meeting, Al-Sultan Abdullah decreed that the Dewan Rakyat be opened to discuss and debate the Emergency ordinances. It was the third time the Agong had called for Parliament to reconvene, since February.

The Malay rulers echoed the Agong’s call, as they too, issued a similar decree on June 16.

Last Sunday, Twentytwo13 revealed attempts were being made to get the Agong to backdate the signing of the revocation.

On Monday, Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan announced in the Dewan Rakyat that the Emergency ordinances, enforced during the Emergency period, had been revoked by the government, on July 21.

MPs had demanded the government prove that the Agong had consented to the revocation, but were repeatedly told by Takiyuddin that he would only explain the matter on Aug 2.

In an unprecedented move, the Agong expressed his disappointment on Thursday, and confirmed that he did not consent to the revocation of the Emergency ordinances.

The Agong, via a statement from Istana Negara, felt the request by the government to revoke the Emergency ordinances was carried out hastily, without first tabling it in Parliament, and that the “confusing and contradicting statement in Parliament disrespects the principles of the rule of law and goes against His Majesty’s functions and power as the head of state”.

This caused an uproar in Parliament.

Hours after Istana Negara’s statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said that it was of the view that all actions taken with regard to the revocation were in order and consistent with the laws and the Federal Constitution.

The PMO’s statement became a topic of discussion. Some believed it lacked humility and seemed to belittle the role of the Agong through its own interpretation of the Federal Constitution.

Calls for the resignation of Muhyiddin, Takiyuddin, Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun and his brother, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, intensified in the following days.

Hundreds of protestors, mostly youths, gathered near Dataran Merdeka earlier today, as they chanted “Kerajaan gagal” (failed government) and called for Muhyiddin’s resignation. No untoward incidents were reported.