Law minister now says govt will not interfere with Special Independent Committee’s task to advise Agong on Emergency

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A general view of Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A general view of Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — De facto law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan today said that the bipartisan Special Independent Committee, tasked with advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the Emergency Ordinance, will not face any interference in carrying out its duties.

Referring to his statement yesterday, where he said any decision on the duration of the nationwide Emergency will be based on the Cabinet’s advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Takiyuddin said certain parties have taken what he said out of context.

“I would like to reiterate the Government’s commitment and assurance that it will always comply with all legal provisions in implementation when making any decisions about the Emergency including recognising all mechanisms that exist legally.

“In other words, the government fully recognises the existence of the bipartisan Special Independent Committee that was formed based on Section 2 of the Emergency Ordinance 2021.

“The government has not interfered in any of the Special Committee’s affairs and have instead given its full cooperation in order to allow the committee to perform its duties,” he said

Takiyuddin said the government will continue to play its role in exercising the executive powers during the emergency period as provided in Section 11, Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021.

“With the country still at war with this Covid-19 Pandemic, preferably all parties should abide by to their respective functions set out under the existing legal framework,” he said.

Following his remarks yesterday that the Cabinet would advise the King on the extension to the Emergency situation, Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had questioned the need for the bipartisan Special Committee to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the same matter.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who is a member of the Special Committee, also questioned Takiyuddin’s statement and demanded an explanation from him.

Saifuddin said the committee has a very clear and specific responsibility which is to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the continued existence of an Emergency or its termination, pointing out that until now, this committee still exists and functions to carry out its duties with the ultimate goal of presenting a report to Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Earlier in the day, Takiyuddin on his Twitter account denied that the government was ‘shifting goalposts’ to influence when the Emergency should come to an end

He said the Cabinet was merely “correcting rules of the game to aid the referee in making a fair decision.”

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