Takiyuddin urged to explain on Emergency committee’s role

Saifuddin says the minister’s remarks were confusing and raises questions with regards to the role of the committee

by ASILA JALIL / pic by BERNAMA

MEMBERS of the Independent Special Committee on Emergency 2021 are questioning the purpose for the establishment of the committee if the government can continue advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah pertaining to the Emergency period.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail cited Section 2 of the Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) 2021 which provides for the establishment of the committee to advise the Agong regarding the Emergency.

“The committee holds a specific responsibility which is to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on whether the emergency should continue or end. The committee still exists and functions today, with a goal to present its report to His Majesty,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He voiced his concerns following a statement made by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (picture) yesterday which stated that it is the government’s responsibility to continue advising the Agong in making decisions regarding the duration of the Emergency period.

The minister said it is in line with the government’s responsibilities and core policies to focus on specific and precise measures to effectively reduce the risk of Covid-19 infectivity in the country.

Saifuddin said Takiyuddin’s remarks were confusing and raised several questions with regards to the role of the committee.

“Is the committee’s role to advise Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the Emergency period has been taken over by the Cabinet? Does this mean that even if the Emergency is still ongoing under the Emergency Ordinance 2021, the Cabinet ministers’ role to advise the Agong on the Emergency is still valid? So, what is the need for the establishment of this committee?,” he asked.

The Kulim Bandar Baru MP also requested Takiyuddin to provide an explanation on the matter.

Another member of the independent committee, Tan Sri Noh Omar also questioned Takiyuddin’s statement which he said is an “insult” to the members of the committee which was consented by the Agong.

“If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decides to continue or end the Emergency on the advice of the Cabinet, then I would like to ask the minister why were we appointed in the first place and then deny our roles now?

“I request for the minister to explain the role of the committee. Why do the Perikatan Nasional ministers like to make statements that contradict and confuse the rakyat,” he said in his Facebook page yesterday.

He also opined that the ministers are now able to make their own decisions due to the lack of check and balance as the Parliament is not allowed to convene.

A state of Emergency was declared nationwide on Jan 12 to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. The Emergency is slated to end on Aug 1, or earlier if the pandemic is under control.

Meanwhile, Takiyuddin in response said the government has never interfered in any affairs of the Special Emergency Committee but instead provided full cooperation so that this committee can perform its functions as provided in the law.

“The government also continues to exercise the executive power of the Federation during the emergency period in force as provided in section 11, Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021. Therefore, in a situation where our country is still at war with the Covid-19 pandemic, all parties should abide by the role prescribed under the existing legal framework,” he said.