Failure to convene Parliament an affront to Malay Rulers, says Umno deputy president

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Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan arrives at the 2020 Umno annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur March 27, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan arrives at the 2020 Umno annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur March 27, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Any attempt to delay reopening Parliament following the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s remarks yesterday would be an insult to the Malay Rulers, said Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

The Umno deputy president said it was no longer tenable to only convene Parliament in Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan as this provided no certainty on when the federal legislature would be able to meet for the first time this year.

Mohamad, or commonly called Tok Mat, said Parliament should not be subject to such phases or other conditions as it was the only proper venue to discuss the country’s efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I strongly urge that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree and wisdom be heeded immediately. Politicising his will will not aid in the country’s speedy recovery.

“Any excuse to delay reopening Parliament would not only be undemocratic, but would also besmirch the nobility and wisdom of the royal institution that was independent and apolitical,” he said in a statement.

Mohamad’s call is the second today pressing the government to reconvene Parliament without delay, with the Pakatan Harapan presidential council issuing a statement in the same vein this morning.

After a special meeting of the Conference of Malay Rulers yesterday, Istana Negara issued a statement to say that Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al- Mustafa Billah Shah was of the view that Parliament should meet as soon as possible.

Following the Agong’s remarks, however, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan argued that Sultan Abdullah only said Parliament should meet but did not specify when.

Takiyuddin sought to interpret this as tacit approval for the government’s proposal to reconvene Parliament in September at the earliest.

While it is the Agong who convenes Parliament, it is the prime minister who must advise him on when to do so.

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