Attorney-General Idrus Azizan Harun’s insistence that the cabinet and not the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to decide when Parliament can reconvene has opened a can of worms.
In a statement today, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Idrus’ actions were inconsistent with his decision to remain silent when the Agong rejected the cabinet’s request for a proclamation of emergency last October.
“Idrus’ public statement now clearly implies that the Agong was wrong to reject the cabinet’s request for a first emergency then but there was no public statement from him.
“What is the reason then for Idrus’ sudden boldness against the Agong and the rulers now?” asked Lim.
Yesterday, Idrus argued that previous court rulings on Article 40 of the Federal Constitution had clearly demarcated the Agong’s roles, whereby deciding on when Parliament should sit was not one of them.
Although the Conference of Rulers had decreed that they wished to see Parliament reconvened "as soon as possible", Putrajaya then decided that this could only be done in September at the latest.
Lim said Idrus has clearly sided with the executive by ignoring the royal decree.
“Idrus should not make a pretence that he is upholding the law when he is willing to make public his advice to the king as the government’s principal legal officer.
“This unprecedented move is highly inappropriate and irresponsible,” said Lim.
He added that Idrus was now showing his “true colours” by being an accessory to the prime minister’s “political expediency”.
The right decision now, said Lim, was for the federal government to heed the royal decree and swiftly convene Parliament.
“Such political recklessness (in not convening Parliament) can trigger a constitutional crisis which Malaysia can ill-afford now when facing multiple crises.
“Perikatan Nasional must instead obey the king, state rulers and the people demanding for Parliament to be convened as soon as possible and that the emergency should not be extended beyond Aug 1,” said Lim.