DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has confirmed that Pakatan Harapan decided at its last meeting that the three states it still leads will call for state assembly sittings in August, in a solidarity move to push the federal government into opening Parliament as soon as the emergency is over.
The coalition governs Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan after a number of states it won in the last general election fell due to defections.
Lim, who is one of the two deputy presidents of the Harapan presidential council, told Free Malaysia Today that the Pahang government had also sent out letters to state assemblypersons to convene in August.
“Pahang is an Umno-led state government, which also wants the Perikatan Nasional (PN)-led federal government to allow the sitting of the legislative assemblies.
“All the assemblypersons in Harapan-ruled states will be asked to submit questions in preparation for the opening,” he said.
The Bagan MP added that it was not only the elected representatives who wanted Parliament and the state assemblies to resume normal functions, but the people as well.
Citing the fact that MPs and assemblypersons were among the first Malaysians to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations, he said there should be no obstacle to physical attendance, as long as strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) were maintained.
Last month, the Pahang government issued a letter to all its assemblypersons saying the assembly would convene from Aug 16 to 20, on condition that the emergency is not extended beyond its set expiry on Aug 1.
The state speaker had also asked the assemblypersons to submit their questions within two weeks of the notice.
Aside from Pahang, Umno heads the state governments of Perak, Johor, Malacca and Perlis, although the latter state has differed with the policy of the central leadership in pushing for a break with the Bersatu party of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Lim said it appeared that Harapan parties and Umno were both determined to stop what he called the “insidious subversion of parliamentary democracy” being perpetrated by PN.
He added that the emergency was called to fight Covid-19 and not stifle democracy.