DAP’s Kit Siang joins deputy Speaker Azalina in calling out govt for ‘shifting goalposts’ on Emergency

·2-min read
Gelang Patah MP, Lim Kit Siang at the art exhibition celebrating his life in Bukit Jalil March 30, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Gelang Patah MP, Lim Kit Siang at the art exhibition celebrating his life in Bukit Jalil March 30, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today lent his support to Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said in calling out the federal government for attempting to shift the goalposts on when the Emergency would end.

Lim said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should not go back on his word to have the Special Independent Committee on Emergency advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on whether the Emergency should be extended beyond August 1.

This follows a worded remark by law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan yesterday that any decision on the duration of the nationwide Emergency will be based on the Cabinet’s advice to the Agong.

“This is a solemn commitment by the prime minister that the question on whether the Emergency Proclamation would be extended would not be exercised under Article 40(1) of the Federal Constitution but by the advice of the Independent Special Committee established under the 2021 Emergency Ordinance.

“The prime minister has given his word that this constitutional function will now be exercised by the Special Independent Committee and the prime minister will be accused of being untrustworthy and not keeping his word if he now dishonours his commitment,” Lim said in a statement this morning.

Article 40(1) states: “In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution; but shall be entitled, at his request, to any information concerning the government of the Federation which is available to the Cabinet.”

Yesterday, Azalina said Putrajaya should not shift the goalposts in reference to Takiyuddin’s statement on who would advise the Agong to determine whether the Emergency should or not be extended.

“If that is the case (that the Cabinet will advise the King), what’s the point of forming an Independent Special Committee to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under section 2(1) of the Emergency Ordinance 2021?

“Stop shifting the goalposts!” she had said in a tweet.

Under section 2(1) of the Emergency Ordinance, the 19-member independent committee led by former chief justice Tun Arifin Zakaria has a sole duty — to advise the Agong on when the emergency should end.

The Iskandar Puteri MP also threw his support behind Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in asserting that only the Agong now has the discretion whether the Emergency would continue beyond August based on the advice of the Special Independent Committee.

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