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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Six possible scenarios in Monday's Parliament sitting

 


There are two basic ideas in Malaysian parliamentary democracy. First, the Parliament consists of three components - the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Agong.

The law enactment process will go through the House first, followed by the Senate, and then the Agong. Both the Senate and Agong can delay the law enactment process. The Agong can withhold assent to a bill for 30 days.

Second, the cabinet is collectively responsible to the Parliament.

As for the current crisis which involves the emergency ordinances, from the statements of the palace and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), a question arises.

Is the Agong's assent to revoking the emergency ordinances a necessary constitutional step? The palace seems to think so while the PMO thinks otherwise.

Looking at development over recent months, and read together with the Agong’s statements, the prime minister appears to be losing the confidence of the palace.

The evolving crisis could lead to several possible scenarios this coming Monday.

Possible scenarios

In the first scenario, the Monday parliamentary meeting will finish the originally scheduled order of business, i.e statements by ministers, and will not entertain any other business such as a motion of no-confidence, a motion to refer de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan to the Parliament's Rights and Privileges Committee, or requests to debate the emergency ordinances.

The second scenario would be to cut short or not to proceed with the Monday parliamentary meeting due to Covid-19 cases among MPs and staff.

In the third scenario, Takiyuddin apologises to the Agong when he is explaining the issue of the emergency ordinances to the MPs on Monday.

Fourth scenario, as mentioned in the Istana Negara statement, the Agong has a duty to advise and “to criticise”.

The Agong has made it clear in the palace statement that the emergency ordinances must be tabled and debated in Parliament.

The Monday parliamentary meeting will then proceed to deal with this new order of business. The emergency ordinances will be debated and voted on. Takiyuddin could likely be referred to the Parliament's Rights and Privileges Committee for possible disciplinary action. 

In the fifth scenario, Takiyuddin resigns.

In the sixth scenario, the prime minister resigns. - Mkini


ONG OOI HENG is the former chief coordinator of the Backbenchers Council.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.

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