Speaker rejects Anwar’s motion to debate Emergency laws for submitting too early

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Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said the submission was made on July 12 and before the notice for the special parliamentary meeting was issued three days later, on July 15. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said the submission was made on July 12 and before the notice for the special parliamentary meeting was issued three days later, on July 15. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun has rejected Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s motion to debate the Emergency ordinances, among others, by saying the Port Dickson MP had submitted this too early.

In a letter to Anwar explaining the rejection, Azhar said the submission was made on July 12 and before the notice for the special parliamentary meeting was issued three days later, on July 15.

“Therefore, your motion, Datuk Seri, is not in order as it was submitted before the notice was distributed.

“For your information, Datuk Seri, Standing Order 11(3) clearly states that the business during the special session must be decided by the prime minister. In this matter, your motion is not accounted for under matters of the special session which has been decided,” Azhar said.

He added that Anwar’s motion also covered more than one issue, which is not in accordance with Standing Order 33(1) and 46(3).

Anwar had, in his motion to the Dewan Rakyat, requested for a debate of the Emergency Proclamation and the Emergency Ordinances, the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccination drive and expenditure as well as the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

On June 16, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said that Parliament should convene as soon as possible to enable proper discussion of the Emergency Ordinance and Malaysia’s Covid-19 recovery plan.

The announcement last month followed a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers chaired by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al — Mustafa Billah Shah, which saw the inclusion of senior government officials and other key political leaders, the week prior.

“After refining all the views of the leaders of political parties, the 2021 Independent Emergency Special Committee and briefing experts from Government agencies, His Majesty expressed the view that Parliament should be convened as soon as possible.

“This is to enable the Emergency Ordinances and the National Recovery Plan to be debated by the Members of the House of Representatives,” Controller of Royal Household Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement conveying the King’s views.

The statement also expressed the Rulers’ wish for a “stable and strong government administration that is able to function effectively in dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic and revive the country’s economy”.

It noted the role of Parliament as an important platform for the elected representatives to meet and to discuss various issues, especially those related to the spread of Covid-19.

“Members of the Dewan Rakyat can discuss the allocation of government expenditure to help the people in need and to revive the country’s economy,” the statement read.

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