KUALA LUMPUR – The Parliament will not sit during the emergency period, said the Minister at Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.
He also provided three reasons related to the law, science and data on why the Cabinet Ministers have to postpone the Parliament from sitting beginning 11 January until 1 August.
First of all, legally, the Constitution stated that during the emergency, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can make an Ordinance under Article 150 2B and His Majesty has already done that.
“Secondly, the current focus of the government is to fight Covid-19, including the Members of Parliament as they are also the frontliners assigned to ensure that the people in their constituency come together in battling the outbreak.
“The current focus of the government if Covid-19. Therefore, we can delay the Parliament sitting. For example, during the 1969 emergency, the Parliament did not sit for two years from February 1969 until February 1971.
“Why didn’t the Parliament sit during that that? It was because it was during an emergency declared by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he said during a joint-news conference with the Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr. Adham Baba today.
According to Takiyuddin, the third reason is that the government is serious in its efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, including, among the Members of Parliament (MPs).
He said, there is currently 220 MPs in the Parliament after two of them have passed away.
“What we are concerned here is, 77 out of these 220 Members of Parliament are aged between 61 and 69 years-old, 19 are aged between 70 and 79 while four of them are above the age of 80.
“They are the high risk group of Covid-19 infection. Thus, the government does not want the MPs to be expose to the virus, therefore, the sitting has to be postponed,” he said.
According to him, if the Parliament sits, the building will be filled with their respective officers and government officers representing all ministries.
“Under such condition, the government is not suspending the Parliament as the deferment will only be made until 1 August, six months and 20 days from now.
“The Prime Minister has also given his guarantee that he will call for the Parliament to sit once the emergency period is over,” he said.
He also explained that the statement from Istana Negara regarding the emergency and Parliament sitting recently is to explain about the matter, which is, no Parliament sitting.
However, he said, any Parliament session must be according to the decision made by the Cabinet Ministers.
“Istana Negara stated that a Parliament sitting must come from the decision of the Cabinet Ministers, not the Prime Minister.
“Now, the Cabinet Ministers advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, that there should be no Parliament sitting. Therefore, that is what it is now,” he said. –MalaysiaGazette