COVID-19 emergency ordinances no longer revoked

·2-min read

The six emergency ordinances are no longer revoked and will be debated in parliament, the prime minister’s office said today.

Parliament will resume next month to discuss the ordinances that had been backdated to July 21 without royal approval. The statement from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s office comes just a day after opposition politicians took to the streets to criticize the government for violating the constitution. A dozen senators also gathered in public earlier today demanding that parliament reopen – a rare sight since senators typically shy away from the spotlight.

“The motion will be discussed in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow and it is hoped it will resolve the polemic surrounding the revocation of the emergency ordinances harmoniously and constitutionally,” the statement said. The ordinances, which included one on governing misinformation, remain effective for six months after the state of emergency expired Sunday.

Yusmadi Yusoff, Raj Munni Sabu (Senator’s Council secretary), and Bob Manolan (Senator’s Council Committee member), were among those who gathered outside parliament this morning.

They were unable to attend the special sitting for the upper house of parliament this week since it got pushed back due to the two-week suspension of the lower house in light of the COVID-19 outbreak there. The final day of the special sitting for the lower house was supposed to happen Monday, but that has been postponed.

“In our opinion, we have followed all the rules. Last Friday, we all had COVID-19 swab tests,” Yusmadi said, noting that Parliament was safe from COVID-19 since there were protocols in place and that the majority of staff, MPs and senators were fully vaccinated.

The senators also submitted a letter to upper house representative Rais Yatim, expressing their concerns over the closure of the Dewan Negara, which also represents indigenous communities and people with disabilities.

Echoing opposition politicians yesterday, senators said that the revocation of the ordinances effective July 21 was unconstitutional and invalid as it did not go through the House or was assented to by the king. To deny its sitting, they said, would mean denying the rights of these groups.

“It is appropriate for the Dewan Negara to correct the error that occurred in the Dewan Rakyat when the proclamation and the ordinances were revoked by the Cabinet without going through both Houses,” the letter, signed by 16 senators, stated.

Yesterday, opposition MPs marched from Dataran Merdeka towards the Parliament building in protest against the two-week suspension of the lower house. The government responded with heightened police presence, including officers from the riot unit.

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This article, COVID-19 emergency ordinances no longer revoked, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

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