KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Parliamentary Opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said at least 114 MPs oppose the nationwide Emergency declaration that is currently in effect until August 1.
He said this exceeded the majority of Dewan Rakyat members and is enough to request that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah reconvene Parliament and nullify the Emergency.
“There are now 114, 115 MPs who reject the Perikatan Nasional (PN) or (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) government’s proposal. This cannot be denied. Is that number enough? It is more than enough.
“The most important thing is that the majority of MPs reject the PN government’s views on the Emergency,” he said during a dialogue session with the National Professors Council (NPC) today.
The session was moderated by NPC’s chief executive officer Prof Datuk Raduan Che Rose and NPC’s research officer Muhammad Asri Mohd Ali.
Anwar added that there may be only a maximum of 90 MPs who support the Emergency as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) reportedly opposes the proclamation.
“Now GPS has discussed that as well. If this happens, support for the Emergency rests only with 90 MPs, give or take,” he said.
Anwar had previously appealed to lawmakers to write to the Agong seeking that the Emergency declaration be rescinded.
Umno also launched a similar effort internally but the party reportedly did not receive the full backing of its MPs.
During the dialogue session, Anwar also defended the need to reconvene Parliament and his bid to form a government on the grounds that the PN government has failed to step up during the pandemic.
“Why do we dispute the Emergency? Because this is not a pandemic solution. Why do we dispute the Budget? Because it is not a pandemic Budget.
“The government still makes a lot of money. A change of government will bring about a much-needed shift in focus,” he said.
On January 20, Anwar claimed a majority of MPs had submitted a letter urging the Agong to reconsider the recently declared state of Emergency.
Without stating the number of MPs involved, he said the letter was to seek the kindness and wisdom of the Agong to review the reasons presented by the prime minister to justify the need to proclaim a state of Emergency.
Anwar also said the move was not “treasonous”, as claimed by some, because the letter to the Agong did not question the proclamation of Emergency, but rather merely requested that a parliamentary sitting be allowed.
“People are asking why Parliament is banned when kindergartens remain open. Why can’t Parliament sit concurrently with the Emergency? It will be more balanced this way.
“When we ask the Agong for a parliamentary sitting, you say it is ‘derhaka’ (treason). The number of MPs who have written to the Agong are more than the majority that the prime minister says he enjoys.
“We are merely appealing to the Agong to order a parliamentary session. We will accept any decision made in the Agong’s wisdom,” he said during a press conference.