Dewan Rakyat in uproar as Opposition lawmakers try to compel law minister to answer questions on ‘revoked’ Emergency Ordinances

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Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan addresses members of Parliament during a special sitting on July 26, 2021. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan addresses members of Parliament during a special sitting on July 26, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — The Dewan Rakyat was in uproar this morning as Opposition lawmakers tried to compel an answer from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law Affairs) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan on the “revoked” Emergency Ordinances that was announced yesterday.

Several Opposition lawmakers such Gobind Singh Deo (Puchong), Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (Sepang), Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub (Pulai), Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (Semporna) and Fahmi Fadzil (Lembah Pantai), among others, raised questions on whether the government had obtained the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke the Emergency Ordinances.

Questions were also raised by the Opposition lawmakers whether the government had overextended its executive power by announcing that it had decided to revoke the Emergency Ordinances following a Cabinet meeting on July 21, instead of a formal declaration by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“This involves public interest. We want to know whether the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has consented to their actions on July 21. Does it follow the procedures prescribed in the Federal Constitution?

“This is a very important matter and I ask that he answer because what we have today or in the coming two or three days are explanations on the ordinances that have been formulated based on the proclamation (of Emergency), that is supposedly revoked but there is no list of what laws were revoked and what are the effects. I think that is what the people are asking as well,” Gobind said.

This then drew a response from Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said who said that she would like to ask the government the same questions, but pointed out that Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun had decided that Takiyuddin will provide answers and an explanation on Monday (August 2).

“I too, as a member of Parliament, am in the same situation and I believe many lawyers too, as evident on social media, have the same question.

“But because we practise a parliamentary democratic system, I was informed by the Speaker that the minister in charge of law will provide an explanation and answers on Monday. That is what will be done by the government,” she said.

Following her explanation, several lawmakers such as RSN Rayer (Jelutong) also raised the question on the fate of those being prosecuted under the Emergency Ordinances despite the aforementioned laws being “revoked”.

“The question that is being asked by the people now is: ‘What is my fate if I am facing a case involving a fine of RM10,000 and I have to appear in court tomorrow? Should I plead guilty to the offence?’ What will happen to these cases?

“So, I want an explanation. If this is true, then we need proof. If not, then the Yang Berhormat (Takiyuddin) is guilty of misleading this Dewan (Rakyat),” he said.

Takiyuddin then replied that he would answer all these questions on Monday as ordered by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

“I humbly plead, to be fair to the government, I will answer all (questions) on the execution of the Emergency Ordinances on Monday,’’ he said.

This then drew a multitude of responses from Opposition lawmakers who demanded answers from Takiyuddin immediately.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim then stood up, telling Takiyuddin, acting on behalf of the government, to simply admit to its supposed mistakes by announcing that the government decided to revoke the Emergency Ordinances, instead of a proper consent by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“The minister said it has been revoked. So we want to know, if it's not then tell us, ‘I was wrong yesterday. What I meant to say is that the Cabinet decided that we will present the matter to the Agong and time and space will be given to the Agong to consider and give his consent’. Wouldn’t that be easier?

“Why the need to go back and forth? If not, then there is absolutely no confidence in the leadership of this government to say anything. Whatever they say can’t be trusted,” he said.

Takiyuddin then doubled down, reiterating that he would provide an explanation and answers on Monday.

This drew shouts from Opposition lawmakers, who called for Takiyuddin to answer their questions promptly.

Azalina then had to call for calm before allowing Health Minister Datuk Seri Adham Baba to proceed with his explanation on his ministry’s effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, Takiyuddin revealed in Parliament that the six Emergency Ordinances drafted and enforced during the period of Emergency were voided and annulled by the government on July 21 after a Cabinet meeting on the same date.

However, Malay Mail’s check showed that the abolishment has yet to be gazetted.

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