Monday, February 15, 2021

Anwar says PH will join emergency bipartisan body

He says three names have been given to the authorities, after initial threats to boycott the committee.

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Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar Ibrahim says its MPs will join a bipartisan committee announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, after initial threats to boycott it.

“We welcome it, and we will send representatives,” Anwar said in an online press conference, adding that three names have been forwarded to the authorities.

“We have decided to give our cooperation.”

However, he said the committee would not have executive powers but would only act in an advisory role, adding that the Parliament would be more effective.

Yesterday, prominent social critic Chandra Muzaffar urged the opposition to join the committee, saying the move to include them was unprecedented.

“The committee itself is very much in line with democratic norms and principles. It provides a role for the opposition. The opposition should make use of it, to participate and give its views,” Chandra told MalaysiaNow.

“If the opposition cares for the people, they should participate and not throw bricks from outside.

“Take it for what it’s worth. If they feel it is not working, that’s a different matter, but they should give it a chance,” he said.

Anwar meanwhile said a suit he planned to file on the state of emergency was not to challenge the declaration, but to call for parliamentary sittings to be held throughout the period.

“This is so that the issues of the people can be debated, the mistakes of the government and efforts to manage Covid-19 can be corrected, and more importantly the principles of good governance are implemented, so that the emergency powers will not be used without any check and balance,” he said in the online press conference.

Muhyiddin had earlier said that Parliament and state assemblies would not convene during the six-month emergency period which ends in August.

Under the constitution, the Agong has the constitutional power to summon a parliamentary sitting anytime during an emergency.

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