KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today trained his guns on a local academic for telling MPs to refrain from questioning the Parliamentary address of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Monday, and questioned the lecturer’s understanding of the Federal Constitution.
Taking to his Facebook today, the Port Dickson MP pointed out that the Agong’s royal address is indeed meant to be debated by members of the Lower House, adding that this should not be labelled as disputing the King’s speech.
“What’s important for the people to know is that this royal address is meant to be debated. There are some who are asking why does it need to be questioned.
“This royal address is to be debated. That’s why it is called the debate on the special motion on the royal address.
“I read the remarks by an associate professor. I don’t know what kind of associate professor is this person. Does this person even understand the Constitution? Does this person even understand the way of the Parliament?” Anwar asked during a Facebook Live session, stopping short however, from mentioning the academic’s identity.
Anwar then explained the process when it comes to debating the royal address, adding that the speeches read out by the Agongs are customarily prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
He then explained that in the speech, the Agong would normally talk about the current government policies, adding that it is also normal to address the government of the day as kerajaan Beta.
“This is important to note. For the royal address on the opening of the Parliament there will be the usul menjunjung kasih for those who want to debate. His Majesty mentioned Covid-19, so we will debate by saying; menjunjung kasih Tuanku (thank you, Your Majesty), there are several views which we must highlight. Some steps taken during the Covid-19 (outbreak), there are the good ones and there are those that are not, there were monies stolen, and all others.
“That does not mean one is being treacherous to His Majesty. It has been 62 years of independence, and there are still associate professors who are still not able to provide more objective views,” Anwar added.
Anwar said that the said motion on the royal address can also be amended later after the debate session.
“Additional views can be given, some (points) are not touched on but are linked, so this can be brought up too. That is what the royal address means. It’s still alright if its politicians, but even academic figures too are confused about this. Try and read the royal address.
“So we as the Opposition, we thank His Majesty for his address and appreciate His Majesty’s contributions, His Majesty’s views, but we also provide our views on the criticism towards the current government,” he added.
On Monday, Astro Awani reported International Islamic University Malaysia’s (IIUM) Associate Professor Shamrahayu A Aziz as claiming that MPs should not question the royal address delivered by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during the opening of the first meeting of the Third Session of the 14th Parliament.
Reportedly quoting the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) dictionary, Shamrahayu said that the word titah or address in itself means an order.
“When it is a titah, the word titah itself expresses a command from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and we as the people must uphold his command,” she was quoted saying.
Shamrahayu said that the government, the Opposition and the public must carry out the Agong’s orders, adding that although the Agong’s position was not above national law, it was morally unwise to question or disagree with his orders.