Kit Siang rebuts 'elastic' interpretation on reconvening Parliament

·3-min read
Kit Siang rebuts 'elastic' interpretation on reconvening Parliament
Kit Siang rebuts 'elastic' interpretation on reconvening Parliament

Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang said PAS ministers have introduced an "elastic" interpretation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's advice on convening Parliament "as soon as possible".

He added that even the prime minister and other Perikatan Nasional (PN) ministers have not publicly offered their interpretations.

"Apart from the PAS leadership, nobody seems to have any problem as to what the Yang di-Pertuan Agong meant with regard to the convening of Parliament as soon as possible. Why is this so?

"It is shocking to see PAS ministers trying to stretch the meaning of 'as soon as possible' to embrace September or October under Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan," he said.

Lim, who favours a July Parliament sitting, said even if the government's timeline was followed, it had yet to be set in motion for the sitting to be convened.

What the prime minister did, Lim added, was merely to announce that Parliament could convene if it met certain conditions - Average daily Covid-19 cases dip under 2,000, vaccination rate hits 40 percent with "sufficient" intensive care unit capacity - which the government estimates will happen in September or October.

Lim also raised doubts on whether that timeline was achievable, pointing out that the pandemic was worsening.

"The Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Rulers did not subject the convening of Parliament and the State Assemblies to the ending of emergency or the improvement of the Covid-19 situation," he said.

Furthermore, he said a Parliament convened after the end of the emergency on August 1 will not comply with Article 150(3) which requires emergency ordinances to be laid before Parliament.

As such, he said the government should convene Parliament as soon as possible.

"The Dewan Rakyat standing orders provide that the prime minister will decide, at least 28 days in advance, when the Dewan Rakyat should meet, which means that tomorrow (June 20) is the deadline for the prime minister to convene Parliament on July 19 and comply with the Dewan Rakyat standing orders on the 28 days’ requisite notice.

"The prime minister should not tarry and delay but should immediately hold an emergency cabinet meeting to convene Parliament on July 19 for the country to start anew and unite Malaysians to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Any other interpretation of 'as soon as possible' in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree to convene Parliament will divide Malaysians further," he said.

Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man
Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man

Yesterday, Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who is also the PAS deputy president, maintained that the ruler's decree was consistent with the government's position on convening Parliament in September or October.

De Facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan, who is also the PAS secretary-general, also defended the timeline by claiming that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong did not provide any specific date.

The government's timeline was set before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's announcement.

The conference of rulers also wants the emergency, which suspended Parliament, to end in August.

Previously, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said Parliament can convene during the emergency but the government refused to do so.

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