Parliament should reconvene for check and balance

The reopening of the Parliament would allow MPs to debate on various matters of concern


THE convening of Parliament is important to provide necessary checks and balances to the government’s policies in battling the crisis induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Senior fellow at the National Council of Professors Dr Jeniri Amir said the Parliament would be the best platform for MPs to debate on the measures proposed by the government and voice out the aspiration of the people on the ground during this difficult time.

“The Opposition can present arguments and criticisms deemed best for the people and the government then can formulate effective solutions and strategies.

“The government should be open to that to facilitate good ideas to address the issues at present,” Jeniri told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

He said the reopening of the Parliament would allow MPs to debate on various matters of concern arising from Covid-19 going forward such as vaccination and education.

As it is, he said health and economic issues remain as priorities too. He said MPs shall be rational and focus on issues of the rakyat at the Parliament at this time, if it convenes, and put aside any unnecessary political plays before the coming of the general election later.

“The people want to see solutions to problems, not some politicking to gain power,” he said.

Members of Parti Pejuang Tanah Air said Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has no reason not to hold parliamentary sittings under the fixed period.

Five MPs of the party, including Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said the King does not need the PM’s advice to call a parliamentary session as the power is in his hands during the emergency period.

“Furthermore, the legitimacy of the PM is disputed and thus, he is no longer qualified to advise the King. We have raised this when the PM advised the King to order an emergency proclamation,” Pejuang members said in a statement yesterday.

They said the parliamentary session this time can be held in full instead of a one-day sitting as it did on May 18 last year, adding that it must follow the original calendar without shortening the duration.

Previously, the King said Parliament may convene during the emergency period.

In a statement, the Palace Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said under Paragraph 14(1) (b) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 gives the King discretion, on the advice of the PM, to convene, prorogue or dissolve Parliament.

“As such, the perception of some parties that the emergency proclamation suspends the Parliament sitting is inaccurate,” he said.

The statement was issued after the King met with Dewan Negara speaker Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun on Wednesday.

“During the audience, the Agong had stressed that in Malaysia, as a nation that practises the democratic system based on the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution, all branches of the nation’s administration, regardless whether it is the Executive, the Judiciary or the Legislature, must always abide by the principle,” Ahmad Fadil said.

Read our previous report here

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