Putrajaya today reiterated its assurance that Parliament will be convened at the appropriate time, whether before or on Aug 1 when the state of emergency is slated to end, in the wake of a memorandum submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on ending the emergency declaration.
In a statement, law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said the government took note of calls by some for Parliament to be convened despite the ongoing measures against Covid-19.
“The government is aware of its constitutional responsibilities to ensure the country’s democratic process is guaranteed through Parliament sittings, but the priority at the moment is on efforts to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 can be fully contained, including protecting the health of MPs, officers and all those involved,” he said.
He added that when Parliament could be held would depend on the advice of experts including from the health ministry and National Security Council.
“As long as the emergency is in force, all parties including the opposition can still convey their views to the government through the approved channels, including through the special independent committee established under the emergency ordinance to advise the Agong on matters related to the emergency enforcement.”
On April 20, the Committee for Ending the Emergency Declaration, formed by Amanah’s Khalid Samad, handed over a petition to the Agong’s private secretary calling for an end to the state of emergency.
Khalid later announced that the palace had agreed to grant an audience to the committee, known as Tamat Darurat, although no date was given.
The delegation at Istana Negara was joined by MPs including former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu although PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim was a no-show as he had been attending an event in Port Dickson.
The emergency was declared in January amid a sharp spike in Covid-19 infections across the country.
It coincided with the second declaration of movement control order, known as MCO 2.0.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had assured that the civilian government would continue to function despite the suspension of Dewan Rakyat debates.
He also said a general election would be called at the end of the emergency subject to improvements in the Covid-19 situation.
Takiyuddin today said there should be no suspicions of abuse of power as the government is functioning as usual.
“This includes the aspect of administrative monitoring by enforcement authorities, especially the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the National Audit Department and the Public Accounts Committee,” he said.