COVID-19 emergency laws revoked without Malaysian king's consent, MPs have been 'misled': Palace
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia King Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah did not give consent to revoke the COVID-19 emergency ordinances, the national palace said in a statement on Thursday (Jul 29).
The initial agreement was to table and debate the cancellation of the ordinances at the ongoing special parliament meeting, according to the statement.
This came after de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan announced on Monday that the months-long state of emergency will not be extended beyond Aug 1.
He also said that the six emergency ordinances introduced during the emergency period, which began on Jan 12, had been revoked and annulled by the government on Jul 21, after a Cabinet meeting on the same day.
Opposition politicians have pressed the minister on whether the king had consented to the revocation, but Mr Takiyuddin said he would answer related questions next Monday.
The Thursday statement, issued by palace comptroller Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, read: "Article 150(2B), read together with Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution, clearly lays the power to declare and revoke ordinances with His Majesty.
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"In line with this, His Majesty is deeply saddened by the statement made in parliament on Jul 26 that the government has revoked all emergency ordinances proclaimed by His Majesty throughout the state of emergency period, while the revocation has not been consented to by His Majesty."
The palace said that the king was disappointed that his earlier consent to the suggestion of tabling and debating the emergency ordinances in the parliament was not implemented.
The consent was given during an online audience granted to Mr Takiyuddin and Attorney General Idrus Harun on Jul 24, it added.
"His Majesty stressed that the minister's statement in the parliament on Jul 26 is not accurate and has misled the MPs."
The king was of the view that the hasty revocation and the "contradictory and misleading" statement in the parliament have failed to respect the rule of law enshrined in the Rukun Negara (National Principles), while also diminishing the function and powers of the king as the head of state, according to the statement.
While acknowledging that he has to act based on the Cabinet's advice, he was of the view that as the head of state, he has the responsibility to advise against unconstitutional acts committed by any party, especially those who implement the functions and powers of the king, the statement added.
Following the palace statement, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim filed a motion of no confidence at the parliament, while the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) called for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign.
The Prime Minister's Office said that actions taken by the government in revoking the emergency ordinances were in line with the country's laws and Constitution.
The current five-day special parliamentary meeting, which kicked off on Monday, was to pave the way for an eventual hybrid parliament sitting.
It is the first time that lawmakers are gathering in Dewan Rakyat after a state of emergency was declared in January.
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During the meeting, Mr Muhyiddin and other ministers were scheduled to brief the parliamentarians on the government's COVID-19 response and recovery plans.
Following the briefings, members of parliament were allowed to seek clarifications and give their views, ending with the ministers answering the issues raised by them.
On Thursday afternoon, the parliament building went into lockdown after it was announced that two COVID-19 cases were detected there. All lawmakers were made to undergo screening while the proceedings were postponed.
The parliament meeting was later adjourned at 5.15pm when Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon said two more COVID-19 cases were detected. It will resume next Monday.