Pakatan reps on Putrajaya’s Emergency panel to moot restoration of Parliament

Malaysia
A general picture of the National Palace during the special meeting of the Malay Rulers October 25, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
A general picture of the National Palace during the special meeting of the Malay Rulers October 25, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — Pakatan Harapan lawmakers on the bipartisan committee advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the Emergency said they will recommend that the panel consider restoring Parliament that is currently suspended.

They said parliamentary sessions were very important to ensure that all agendas and measures to curb the Covid-19 pandemic can be debated by members of Parliament.

“This will ensure a check and balance, and review with all the decisions made by the executive.

“The decision to restore parliamentary sessions will also give confidence to the outside world and foreign investors that Malaysia remains committed to a system of parliamentary democracy and the principle of ‘Rule of Law’,” the three lawmakers said.

The PH lawmakers on the bipartisan committee are former ministers Anthony Loke, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution and Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Loke was formerly transport minister, Saifuddin was domestic trade and consumer affairs minister, and Dzulkefly was health minister during PH’s short-lived term as the federal government.

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The three went on to state that parliamentary sittings could be held subject to all the SOPs set by the Ministry of Health, as already implemented during the 2020 parliamentary sessions.

“Therefore, we will present this view consistently at the Special Emergency committee meeting and hope that it will be agreed by the members of the committee as a stand together, to advise the King,” the statement further read.

The Special Emergency committee was formed consisting of government and Opposition MPs and relevant health experts to determine if the Emergency will end earlier than the initial date of August 1,2021.

The government’s independent committee is led by former chief justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, as the president with 18 other members from eclectic groups spanning from law, security, politics, healthcare, trade, and academia.

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