KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — The government’s failure to act on the Conference of Malay Rulers’ advice to reopen federal and state legislatures could cause the country to descend into a constitutional crisis, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang asserted today.
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s Office statement yesterday, Lim noted that it did not contain any commitment to reconvene Parliament or the state assemblies that were suspended as a result of the Emergency proclaimed in January.
“The two conclusions of the Conference of Rulers special meeting on Wednesday were that Parliament and the state assemblies should be convened as soon as possible and that there is no need for the Emergency to extend beyond August 1, 2021.
“I call on the Cabinet not to start a constitutional crisis but to take advantage of the Conference of Rulers special meeting to launch a new beginning to win the war against Covid-19 pandemic,” Lim said in a statement.
The DAP lawmaker said Malaysia could not afford to be mired in such a crisis when it was already battling the Covid-19 pandemic on various fronts.
However, Lim did not explain how a failure to reconvene Parliament or the state legislatures before September, as currently expected under the National Recovery Plan, would cause a constitutional crisis.
While Article 55 of the Federal Constitution empowers the Yang diPertuan Agong to summon Parliament to be in session, Article 40 also stipulates that he did so on the advice of the prime minister and the Cabinet.
In its statement yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office said it acknowledged the recommendations of the Malay Rulers and would act in accordance with the Federal Constitution.
After the special meeting on Wednesday, Istana Negara issued a statement saying Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Malay Rulers were of the view that Parliament and the state assemblies should meet as soon as possible.
The Malay Rulers also said they saw no need to extend the Emergency beyond the August 1 deadline.
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