(Kuala Lumpur July 21) The Pakatan Harapan presidential council has urged Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun to make several changes to the upcoming parliamentary session
If he fails to do so, the council claimed the sitting would not fulfil the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers’ decree for the session to be held as soon as possible.
“This special session has no debate on any motion and comprises solely of hearing lectures from ministers, with incomplete attendance from MPs, and without any vote, especially on matters pertaining to the proclamation of emergency.
“Thus, if the speaker follows through on the government decision knowing that it would not live up to what the rulers’ have decreed, then the speaker would be complicit in going against the decrees,” they said in a statement today.
The statement is jointly signed by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
They argued that the speaker must decide whether to fulfil the rulers’ wishes or merely follow cabinet instructions, saying it is unacceptable to hold a parliamentary session “just to hear ministers give lectures without a comprehensive debate”.
“If the Dewan Rakyat speaker feels he cannot implement these three changes, he is invited to tender his resignation,” they said.
They said Azhar should allow full attendance in Parliament chambers to ensure that all MPs who wish to speak would have the opportunity to do so.
This is in light of Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Rashid Hasnon’s statement that Parliament is reportedly considering limiting the number of MPs present in parliament chambers to just 80 MPs at a time.
Harapan also demanded for debates to be held on all issues mentioned by the Agong and the Conference of Rulers in their decrees.
This includes the National Recovery Plan, the proclamation of emergency, Covid-19 prevention measures, the vaccination programme, and steps to revive the economy and help the people.
In June, Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the king is of the opinion that Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible to debate the emergency laws and the National Recovery Plan.
The Conference of Rulers had backed the king’s decree, saying the current state of emergency should not extend beyond its expiry on Aug 1.
The special session is slated to be held for five days beginning July 26, but controversially, all five days have been slated for “explanations from ministers”.
This would be followed by a “full sitting” from Oct 25 to Dec 16.