Anwar says Pakatan has named candidates for special Emergency panel but insists move not endorsement

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
·2-min read
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters after meeting with the Pakatan Harapan presidential council in Petaling Jaya January 12, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters after meeting with the Pakatan Harapan presidential council in Petaling Jaya January 12, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — Pakatan Harapan has submitted the names of its lawmakers who will sit in the bipartisan committee to decide the expiry of the Emergency, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

The Opposition coalition previously said its cooperation would hinge on several conditions that included increased membership and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s guarantee that its views would be given equal weight, as its lawmakers protested against Emergency rule.

While the naming of candidates for the committee indicates a willingness to set aside partisan schism, Anwar insisted the Opposition will continue to appeal for a withdrawal of the Emergency Proclamation.

“We decided that we will send our representatives but this committee is not really free and involves the executive branch and even so the views will be more about the (legal) meaning of Emergency and when it should end,” he said in an online press conference.

“It is not the solution that’s needed.”

At the same press conference, Anwar revealed a bipartisan appeal for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to rescind his Proclamation of Emergency via a letter signed by Pakatan Harapan and several government federal lawmakers.

The Port Dickson MP alleged Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had wrongly advised on the matter, and suggested that this could have been motivated by a desire to remain in power despite losing majority support in Parliament.

The letter, which also appealed for the Agong to allow Parliament to convene should the Agong insist on Emergency rule, was submitted yesterday, Anwar said.

Opposition and Umno lawmakers, who formerly supported Muhyiddin’s government, have been pushing for an emergency parliament sitting as they protested against its suspension.

Anwar said failing to convene Parliament would allow Muhyiddin to escape scrutiny. The prime minister is facing growing criticism over his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has shown no signs of receding.

“The committee will have four government and three Opposition lawmakers, so it is not the same as a Parliament proceeding because the committee is only giving very specific inputs,” the opposition leader said.

Daily positive cases have continued to hover above the 3,000 mark in the last five days as the country goes into another round of lockdown.

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