KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — De facto law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hasan should abide by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s wishes and push for Parliament’s reopening under the Emergency instead of delaying it, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng said today.
The Opposition lawmaker said failure to do is tantamount to lèse-majesté, though Malaysian laws do not make disobeying the King an offence.
“Takiyuddin should perform his duties according to the rule of law and not act contrary to the Federal Constitution and the wishes of the King,” the Bagan MP said in a statement.
Lim who is also DAP secretary-general took the PAS minister to task in insisting that all is well under the Perikatan Nasional government, arguing otherwise.
“First, how can the government be functioning well when only two out of the three branches of the Federal Constitution, namely the Executive and the Judiciary, are allowed to operate?
“Two, unlike other previous Emergency Proclamation in 1969, no King had ever issued a public statement that Parliament is not suspended and can still be convened. Our present King has declared that the present Emergency Proclamation only deals with the Covid-19 public health crisis and does not prevent Parliament from meeting and functioning normally. Failing to obey the King is a clear act of lèse-majesté,” Lim said.
He was referring to Takiyuddin’s defensive response yesterday that Parliament did not sit for two years during the Emergency in 1969 after clamours for the Dewan Rakyat to reconvene immediately.
News portal Malaysiakini reported the minister playing down the calls from lawmakers on both sides to reconvene Parliament as “not an issue” since MPs had met four months earlier in December 2020 to approve Budget 2021.
Takiyuddin reportedly compared and contrasted the current state of affairs in the country under the Covid-19 Emergency the one in 1969 and said “there were no problems for the government to function”.
The 1969 Emergency was declared following the bloody racial riots of May 13.
Lim, the former finance minister, said the government had no reason for delaying parliamentary sittings when schools, courts, businesses, and recreational activities were allowed.
He pointed out that many MPs have already taken their first dose of the two-shot Covid-19 vaccine and should not be prevented from carrying out their job.
“Fourth, what is the point of vaccinating all MPs and promoting the RM5 billion National Immunisation Programme, if MPs are prohibited from exercising their duties and powers, particularly on legislating new laws and government oversight?” he asked.
Lim said the Federal Constitution is “only whole and perfect” if all three branches of government; Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary can function as a democratic form of check and balance.
He stressed that suspending Parliament, which is the supreme institution, is an act of treachery against parliamentary democracy.
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