Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Govt decides not to extend emergency

The state of emergency imposed in January has been revoked effective July 21, Parliament is told.

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The government will not advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to extend the current virus emergency upon its expiry next month, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Takiyuddin Hassan, the minister in charge of law, said all emergency ordinances would also be revoked.

“I would like to confirm today that the federal government has decided not to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare a new proclamation of emergency when it expires on Aug 1, 2021,” Takiyuddin told the Dewan Rakyat.

“The government has made a decision based on Article 105(3) to revoke all emergency ordinances made during this emergency. As it has been revoked, the issue of annulment is no longer relevant.”

He said the revocation was effective July 21.

The announcement was met with protest by opposition politicians who went on to disrupt Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s speech, close to two hours after the special sitting today began.

Minutes into his speech, DAP’s Gobind Singh Deo interrupted by saying that the move not to extend the emergency should only be decided by Parliament.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim meanwhile said there should be a process to go through before the emergency is revoked.

The floor then descended into chaos with Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng leading other opposition MPs in refusing to allow Muhyiddin to continue his speech.

Earlier, opposition MPs had questioned the special sitting and accused the government and speaker Azhar Harun of committing “derhaka” (treachery) by not calling for a full sitting as requested by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Several attempts by Takiyuddin to explain the special sitting were interrupted by DAP and Amanah MPs.

The government said early this month that it had agreed to advise the Agong to call for a special Parliament sitting to explain the National Recovery Plan to MPs.

The special sitting will run for five days from July 26 to 29 and Aug 2 for the Dewan Rakyat and three days from Aug 2 to 5 for the Dewan Negara.

Parliament and state assembly sittings had been suspended since January under the state of emergency declared to address the spike in Covid-19 cases at the time, which also saw the enforcement of the second movement control order across large parts of the country.

The fourth term of Parliament, meanwhile, will run for 15 days in September and another 32 days from October to December.

The first sitting of the Dewan Rakyat will run from Sept 6 to 30, while the second will run from Oct 25 to Dec 16.

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