MB: Kedah state assembly will sit only when Parliament is back in session

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Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor speaks during a press conference in Alor Setar November 15, 2020. — Bernama pic
Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor speaks during a press conference in Alor Setar November 15, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Amid calls for Malaysia’s state legislative bodies to be back in session, Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the state assembly will follow Parliament’s lead in this matter.

According to an Astro Awani report, Muhammad Sanusi added that the state is still mulling over when to reconvene its assembly as it remains undecided what form — in person or online — the next Parliament sitting will take.

“The form that the state assembly takes will depend on what transpires after Parliament reconvenes.

“We do not know yet when the parliamentary session will take place, so we have not decided if the state assembly will be held face-to-face or virtually depending on the situation.

“Usually, the Kedah state assembly is held in July or August, but this time we are facing constraints due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he was quoted as saying.

Muhammad Sanusi, who is the PAS assemblyman for Jeneri, said that before the state assembly sits, state officials will review and refer to the format and standard operating procedures (SOP) of Parliament for guidance.

He was reported as explaining that the next Kedah state assembly may only involve assemblymen and officials without any observers present. Proceedings, however, would be broadcast ‘live’ on the state government’s official Facebook page.

“It would be conducted in compliance with the strict SOPs set by the National Security Council and Ministry of Health,” he added.

Four days ago, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said that Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible to enable proper discussion of the Emergency Ordinance and Malaysia’s Covid-19 recovery plan after His Majesty chaired a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers.

The following day, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) responded that the government had taken note of the Agong’s decree, and that subsequent action would be taken in accordance with the Federal Constitution.

The PMO however did not specify what measures would be taken, instead saying that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had previously advised and informed the Agong of relevant matters involving the Emergency, Parliament and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the PMO’s response, Istana Negara issued an excerpt of the Agong’s views that Parliament should sit as soon as possible.

Istana Negara re-posted a poster of the excerpt on its official Facebook and Instagram pages without additional comment, after previously deleting a similar post which had emphasised the phrase “Parliament must happen as soon as possible” in Malay.

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