Law minister denies ‘changing goalposts’, says merely correcting rules to help ‘referee’ make right call on Emergency

·2-min read
Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan speaks during a press conference on the Emergency Ordinance in Putrajaya March 12, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan speaks during a press conference on the Emergency Ordinance in Putrajaya March 12, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — De facto law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan today denied that the government was ‘shifting goalposts’ to influence when the Emergency should come to an end.

However, he said the Cabinet is “correcting rules of the game to aid the referee in making a fair decision.”

He was responding to Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who had questioned the need for the bipartisan Special Committee to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the Emergency Ordinance that is currently in place after Takiyuddin remarked that it is the Cabinet that would advise the King on the extension to the Emergency situation.

“If that’s the case, what’s the point of forming an Independent Special Comm to advise the YDPA under Sec 2(1) of the Emergency Ordinance 2021? Stop shifting the goal post!!! @takiyuddin61,” Azalina who is also a former de facto law minister said on her Twitter account.

In response today, Takiyuddin replied: “No one is shifting the goalposts, what is done is correcting the rules of the game to aid the referee in making a fair decision. To achieve goals does not mean to change the goal post,” he tweeted.

Takiyuddin had in a statement yesterday said that any decision on the duration of the nationwide Emergency will be based on the Cabinet’s advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He said the Emergency was proclaimed in accordance with the Federal Constitution for public health and safety to halt the spread of Covid-19.

He gave an assurance that the government will continue its focused approach to more effectively fight the spread of the viral disease.

He added that any decision regarding the Emergency will continue to be based on the law and will take into account all the latest circumstances surrounding public safety and the country’s socio-economic situation.

“Therefore, the question of whether the Emergency will end on that date or is continued at the discretion of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, should not arise,” he said in a statement.

The minister’s remarks follow speculation that the Emergency would be extended. It was proclaimed on January 11 and is supposed to expire on August 1.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah told Malay Mail earlier this week that there would be nothing stopping elections from happening once the Emergency is lifted.

Dr Noor Hisham also asserted that only Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the discretion to decide if the Emergency should continue.

“It’s up to the King to decide,” he told Malay Mail.

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