PETALING JAYA,Mar 3: De facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan says the Cabinet will not advise the King to allow Parliament to reconvene during the emergency period until Aug 1.
In a live-streamed press conference today, Takiyuddin said the Palace’s statement last week was to explain that the Cabinet will be the one to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on when Parliament can sit.
He also said with the King able to enact laws through the Emergency Ordinance, there was no need for Parliament to meet.
“The calling of any Parliament session must follow the Cabinet’s decision. So, right now the Cabinet is advising the King that there won’t be any Parliament sitting. That’s the situation now.
“The prime minister has guaranteed that once the emergency is over, Parliament will be convened. For now, with Parliament not convening, MPs can focus on combating Covid-19.
“That’s our justification, there’s no other reason,” he said.
He also said the government was concerned about the health and safety of elected representatives, pointing out that 77 of the 222 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat were above 60 years old.
“So, quite a number of our 222 MPs are high-risk. We don’t want our MPs to be exposed, especially since it’s an enclosed area.”
Last week, the King said Parliament can be allowed to reconvene during the emergency period until August, on a date deemed suitable by him on the advice of the prime minister.
“Hence, the perception by certain quarters that the implementation of the proclamation of emergency would stop Parliament from convening is inaccurate,” said Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.
The King’s statement prompted MPs to urge the government to allow Parliament to reconvene in March.