Tuesday, September 21, 2021

All constitutional procedures followed, Putrajaya explains move to repeal emergency

Muhyiddin Yassin emphasises the importance of acting in accordance with the law in carrying out his duties.

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today said the government had followed all constitutional procedures and provisions before announcing the revocation of the emergency ordinances on Monday, following a statement from Istana Negara claiming that the move was against the Agong’s role as head of state.

“The government views all these actions as orderly and in accordance with the provisions of the law and the Federal Constitution.

“The prime minister wishes to emphasise that in carrying out his duties and responsibilities, it is important for him to act in accordance with the law and the constitution,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement explaining the decision to announce the move not to extend the emergency beyond Aug 1.

Istana Negara, in a statement today which triggered accusations of “derhaka” or treachery by opposition leaders against Muhyiddin, said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was disappointed that the government had repealed the emergency ordinances and announced its decision not to extend the state of emergency, saying the matter should have gone through debate by MPs.

The statement from the PMO however explained the various meetings and decisions taken before the announcement in the Dewan Rakyat on July 26 by law minister Takiyuddin Hassan.

It said the government had taken into account the call by the Agong and the Malay rulers last month for the emergency not to be extended and for Parliament to reconvene without delay.

It said a Cabinet meeting on July 21 had decided that a special session of the Dewan Rakyat would be held after getting the Agong’s consent, alongside two other decisions.

“Secondly, the Cabinet would not advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to renew the proclamation of emergency after the current emergency ends on Aug 1, 2021, and thirdly, as the emergency would not continue, the Cabinet decided to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke all emergency ordinances promulgated by His Majesty during the emergency period in force,” the PMO said in its statement.

It said the following day, the Attorney-General’s Chambers submitted the draft for the repeal of the emergency ordinances effective July 21.

On July 23, the prime minister wrote to the Agong to advise him on the decision to repeal the emergency ordinances and to seek his consent.

The next day, the Agong summoned law minister Takiyuddin Hassan and Attorney-General Idrus Harun for a detailed explanation of the Cabinet advice.

The PMO said that all emergency ordinances had already been “laid” in the Dewan Rakyat in time for the first day of the special sitting on July 26, in keeping with Article 150(3) of the constitution.

“However, opposition MPs demanded that the Dewan Rakyat repeal the emergency ordinances promulgated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“Subsequently, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Takiyuddin) as the minister responsible for legal affairs informed the MPs that the government, namely the Cabinet, had decided to repeal the emergency ordinances.

“This is a statement of fact, aimed at informing the Dewan Rakyat of the real situation in a transparent manner,” the PMO added.

It said as the move to inform the MPs raised questions on whether the Agong had given his consent to repealing the emergency ordinances, Muhyiddin had sought an audience on the afternoon of July 27 to offer further explanation.

“During this session, the prime minister once again delivered the Cabinet’s advice on the repeal of the emergency ordinances and clarified the confusion that the opposition was trying to create in the Dewan Rakyat sitting.

“The prime minister also conveyed the government’s view that the emergency ordinances need not be revoked by Parliament as the Cabinet had already advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to repeal them,” the statement said, adding that the July 26 sitting was part of the special sitting where the emergency was not part of the agenda.

“Therefore, the Cabinet decided to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to repeal the emergency ordinances prior to the special sitting of Parliament,” the PMO added.

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