King agrees to audience with committee to end Emergency

Khalid confirms receiving the letter from Istana Negara, however, no date for the audience has been set

by ASILA JALIL / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

YANG di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has agreed to have an audience with the committee to end Emergency to receive the petition put forward by Opposition leaders to end the state of Emergency.

The committee’s chairman Khalid Abd Samad, who is also Shah Alam MP, said he received an official letter from the palace yesterday, however, the date has yet to be confirmed.

“I am pleased to inform that I have received a letter from Istana Negara this morning informing His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong has agreed to have an audience with the committee to submit a petition calling for the end to the Emergency.

“Although the date has yet to be decided, we are confident a date will be set soon to enable us to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the submission of the petition. The negative effects of the Emergency are becoming more pronounced everyday,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the letter was signed by Colonel (Rtd) Datuk Nazim Mohd Alim, who is the private secretary to the King.

“As the chairman of the committee, I would like to thank His Majesty for his concern,” he added.

On Tuesday, Opposition leaders requested to seek an audience with the King to present their petition, which had garnered more than 40,000 signatures.

The committee held a press conference outside of Istana Negara, which was also attended by former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir said the request for the audience was also made to rectify the ongoing Emergency, which he said is not implemented for the benefit of the public. On Jan 12, Yang di-Pertuan Agong agreed to the proclamation of emergency proposed by PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to contain the spread of Covid-19.

However, there were claims that the Perikatan Nasional government had called for an emergency because it was losing majority as some Umno MPs were going to leave the pact.

Under the current state of Emergency, Parliament is suspended until Aug 1, which is the date the Emergency is supposed to be lifted.

During the Emergency, the government had also gazetted a new law which allows the Finance Ministry to approve additional spending of the federal government’s fund, which is not included in Budget 2021. This can be done without the need to seek approval from the Parliament.

This has caused uproar among various parties and the public as they deemed the government is misusing the state of Emergency for its own benefit.