Press statement by MP for Ipoh Timor & Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Wong Kah Woh on 17 February 2021:
I have received a call from the House’s Secretary (Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat), Mr. Nizam Mydin, this morning. The SUDR informed me about the opinion from the AGC as well as the PUU of Parliament that Parliamentary Select Committees are not allowed to convene when Parliament sittings is suspended. I was told this is pursuant to Clause 14 of the Emergency Ordinance 2021.
Clause 14(1)(a) of the Emergency Ordinance 2021 states, inter alia:-
For so long as the emergency is in force, the provisions relating to the summoning, proroguing and dissolution of Parliament in the Federal Constitution shall not have effect.
The AGC’s view is too restrictive and regressive. It has effectively killed off the last fortress of democracy in the nation.
The AGC’s opinion has also reversed the Speaker’s initial position whereby the Speaker had on 12.01.2021 issued a statement to confirm that All Party Parliamentary Group and all Parliamentary Select Committees shall continue to be in force (masih boleh diteruskan).
The Speaker had said in his statement as follows:-
Melalui JK Bebas tersebut serta juga JK-JK Pilihan Khas, Parlimen Malaysia akan terus menjalankan fungsinya di dalam proses semak dan imbang sebagai institusi unggul perundangan Negara.
I have had a differing opinion with the Speaker on the above positions and I have said the Parliament and its committees will not be able to carry out its role for check and balance as no reports can be tabled without the House being in sitting.
It is already bad for Parliament to be suspended, and now even the Parliament Select Committees are being suspended, in the name of EMERGENCY.
How is Parliament, and its members, going to play its role as stated, or rather assured, by the Speaker earlier?
The MPs are amongst the first batch to receive vaccination, in the name of being part of the gront liners. It will be a big shame for us, the MPs, to be made the Front Liners if we can’t be able to carry out our duty for the Nation.
My letter to YBhg Tan Sri Idrus Harun , Attorney-General regarding the emasculation of the legislature in view of the constitutional doctrine of separation of power. pic.twitter.com/SWLhUWrKBd— Azalina Othman Said (@AzalinaOthmanS) February 17, 2021
The Deputy Speaker had an open letter to the Attorney General today. I support the Deputy Speaker’s position in this matter. Parliament’s role needs to be defended.
Wong Kah Woh
MP For Ipoh Timor
Public Accounts Committee Chairman