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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Nothing can stop MPs from coming to Parliament on Monday, Harapan says


Pakatan Harapan has indicated that its MPs may still head to Parliament on Monday despite the sitting being postponed to a different day.

In a statement released just before news broke that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had postponed Monday's sitting - the Harapan presidential council said nothing could stop MPs from fulfilling their duties.

"No matter what happens, MPs can't be stopped from attending Parliament on Monday to fulfil their duties and responsibilities to the people and country, and fulfil our oaths to defend the Federal Constitution," the statement read.

It was signed by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

The statement, which predicted that Muhyiddin would use Covid-19 as an excuse to shut down Parliament, also rejected such a move.

They said the 11 cases of Covid-19 detected on Thursday only amounted to a 0.9 percent test positivity rate - far below the World Health Organisation's five percent threshold.

"This means there was no significant amount of Covid-19 cases at Parliament last week.

"If Parliament is closed because of a (test positivity) rate of below one percent, then its possible Parliament may not convene again as the fact is Covid-19 has become endemic not just in Malaysia, but the whole world," they said.

The Harapan presidential council said Covid-19 hence should not be used as an excuse to postpone Parliament sittings.

They also warned Muhyiddin against using government ministries and agencies, including Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, to justify closing Parliament.

A letter informing MPs of Parliament being postponed said the move was in line with advice from Noor Hisham and that the Health Ministry had found Parliament to be a Covid-19 risk locality.

The postponement comes amid what critics claim to be a constitutional crisis between the federal government and the monarchy.

On Thursday, the Yang Di Pertuan Agong gave the government a royal rebuke, accusing de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan of misleading the Dewan Rakyat by saying that emergency ordinances had been revoked - despite not receiving royal consent.

The Prime Minister's Office, in response, defended its decisions saying they had acted within the Federal Constitution which also stated that the king must follow the cabinet's advice.

Anwar wants to move a motion of no-confidence against Muhyiddin following the debacle while there are also motions to censure Takiyuddin. - Mkini

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