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What’s so difficult about convening Parliament?

Forming A Committee To Study Whether Parliament Should Be Reconvened As Soon As Possible Is Akin To Forming A Committee To Study Whether The Prime Minister Should Resign When The Decision Rests In The Hands Of The Prime Minister Personally.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement that the government will form a committee to study whether Parliament should be reconvened is ridiculous, irresponsible and a dishonest ploy to delay such a meeting until September or October, instead of as soon as possible as commanded by the King and state Rulers.

Forming a committee to study whether Parliament should be reconvened as soon as possible is akin to forming a committee to study whether the Prime Minister should resign, when the decision rests in the hands of the Prime Minister personally.

There is absolutely nothing to study whether Parliament should be reconvened as soon as possible, Mahiaddin should just do it. That Mahiaddin is unwilling to do so, demonstrates his insincerity to obey the Royal command to reconvene Parliament to mobilise a whole-of-society effort to win the battle against COVID-19 pandemic and ramp up the vaccination programme. Mahiaddin’s desperation in daring to defy the Royal command, demonstrates his lack of political legitimacy and loss of parliamentary majority amongst MPs.

As a failed Prime Minister leading a failed government in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession that brought economic hardship to workers and businesses, loss of public confidence and trust, Mahiaddin should let Parliament determine the way out of the nation’s crisis. A day’s delay in reconvening Parliament would be a day lost in seeking solutions.

Even the Special Committee of a hybrid Parliament – a combination of physical and virtual presence, is now seen as a delaying tactic and a political ploy to subvert the constitutional process. A hybrid Parliament cannot be conducted unless the Standing Orders are amended first by Parliament. This would necessitate that a physical meeting of all 220 MPs must first be held to carry out the necessary amendments to the Standing Orders prior to any hybrid Parliament meeting.

Mahiaddin has further contradicted himself by saying that the reopening of Parliament under Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan, will be determined when the new daily Covid-19 case count falls below 2,000 and the vaccination rate has reached 40 percent, “sufficient” beds at Intensive Care Units (ICU) available to Covid-19 patients. There are zero daily COVID-19 cases involving MPs, no MPs are receiving treatment under ICU and all MPs are fully vaccinated. Mahiaddin has no rationale or excuse not to reopen Parliament.

A physical meeting of Parliament can be held within the standard 28 days notice given or a shorter period of a few days as decided by the Prime Minister in accordance with Parliament Standing Order 11.” – Lim Guan Eng

Should Mahiaddin stubbornly refuses to do so, MPs may have no choice but be compelled to appeal to the King to exercise his powers under Section 14(1)(b) of the Emergency Ordinance 2021 to reconvene Parliament which states, “Parliament must be called, prorogued or dissolved at a date deemed appropriate by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong”.

Lim Guan Eng

DAP Secretary-General

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