Malaysian government acknowledges king's views, says PMO after palace calls for parliament to reconvene
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government has acknowledged the king's views and will take follow-up measures based on the Constitution and the laws, said the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday (Jun 17).
The King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Mustafa Billah Shah has said that the parliament should reconvene as soon as possible, after chairing a special rulers' conference on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Prime Minister's Office said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had previously informed the king during prior audiences on the progress of various efforts, from the pandemic's management to the national immunisation programme and economic aid, as well as the recently-unveiled national recovery plan.
"In upholding the king's decrees, the government will take follow-up measures based on the Federal Constitution and the state laws," the statement read.
The special rulers' conference came after the king granted audiences to 18 key political leaders, who presented their views on the pandemic management and the country's current situation.
The king said parliament meetings should be held to enable the emergency ordinances and the national recovery plan to be debated by parliamentarians.
The Malay rulers added that there was no need to further extend Malaysia’s state of emergency beyond Aug 1.
On Wednesday night, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said that although the king had called for parliament to reconvene as soon as possible, no specific date had been specified.
“The prime minister has already stated September or October,” Mr Takiyuddin, who is also Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) secretary-general, said during an online interview on the Bicara Harakah talk show.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department added that a parliament sitting would definitely be convened "in three months' time".
On Tuesday, Mr Muhyiddin said in a televised address that the parliament meeting could be held during the third phase of the national recovery plan, which is likely to happen in September or October this year.
In his response to the rulers' statement, the deputy president of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Mohammad Hassan said that it was necessary for the government to convene parliament sessions as soon as possible.
“Don’t dilly-dally with the excuse that His Majesty did not decree which month Parliament should sit,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
“The government’s announcement in the national recovery plan that parliament can reopen come September or October is not a guarantee,” said Mr Mohammad.
Such a reopening, he said, was subject to various conditions including drops in the number of daily new cases, and an increase in the vaccination rates.
“Whatever excuse to delay the reopening of parliament is not just anti-democratic, but also touches the sanctity and wisdom of the royal institution, which is free and above politics," he added.
The opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition also called on Mr Muhyiddin to advise the king to reconvene parliament at the soonest.
“If the prime minister continues to dally, or gives excuses to delay parliament session, it does not just mean he has set aside His Majesty’s view. It also gives the impression that the Prime Minister has lost confidence to continue governing," said the PH statement.
It added that if the prime minister still refuses to advise the king soon, he should take the honorable step by resigning.
Among state governments, Selangor chief minister Amirudin Shari announced on Thursday that he would meet with the state assembly speaker to begin plans to reconvene the legislature, including obtaining assent from the state ruler.