PKR MP: Parliament must reopen August 2 latest to prevent constitutional crisis once Emergency ends

Fahmi pointed out that today is the 183th day or six months and one day since MPs last met with the last Dewan Rakyat sitting on December 17, 2020, and said this meant Malaysia would be at risk of breaching the Federal Constitution if not for the current Emergency. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Fahmi pointed out that today is the 183th day or six months and one day since MPs last met with the last Dewan Rakyat sitting on December 17, 2020, and said this meant Malaysia would be at risk of breaching the Federal Constitution if not for the current Emergency. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — Malaysia’s Parliament must reconvene on August 2 at the very latest, the day immediately after the current Emergency’s scheduled August 1 end date, PKR MP Fahmi Fadzil said today.

Fahmi, who is also PKR communications director, said this was necessary to avert a constitutional crisis involving strict timelines for Parliament meetings.

Fahmi pointed out that today is the 183th day or six months and one day since MPs last met with the last Dewan Rakyat sitting on December 17, 2020, and said this meant Malaysia would be at risk of breaching the Federal Constitution if not for the current Emergency.

He cited Article 55(1) of the Federal Constitution, which states: “The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall from time to time summon Parliament and shall not allow six months to elapse between the last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its meeting in the next session.”

He noted that the federal government had used Section 14(1)(a) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 to overcome this constitutional issue by suspending constitutional provisions to summon and dissolve Parliament during the Emergency period.

“However, if the Emergency ends on August 1, 2021, this means Section 14(1)(a) no longer applies as the Emergency is no longer in force. Therefore Article 55(1) of the Federal Constitution will be applicable again at that time.

“Therefore, to avoid a constitutional crisis, Parliament must meet no later than August 2, 2021. Not September or October, as repeated by Tan Sri Mahiaddin and Datuk Seri Takiyuddin,” the Lembah Pantai MP said, referring to the prime minister and the law minister.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had on June 15 said Parliament can reopen in September or October under the third phase of the government’s new National Recovery Plan, while minister in charge of law and Parliament Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan had on June 16 reiterated that Parliament could reopen by September.

Fahmi said both Muhyiddin’s and Takiyuddin’s statement does not take into account the Emergency factor, while also pointing out that the Conference of Rulers had on June 16 said there was no need to extend the Emergency after August 1.

In urging for the aversion of a constitutional crisis with a reopening of Parliament by August 2 at the latest, Fahmi urged both the prime minister and the minister to immediately seek the attorney-general’s advice and explain the public about the matter to avoid confusing the public and MPs.

“Above all that, since the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Rulers have decreed that Parliament reconvene ‘as soon as possible’, in light of the Parliament being the best platform to hear the problems and solve the citizens’ issues, and to avoid any constitutional crisis from happening, the prime minister must as early as today seek audience with and advise His Majesty to summon for a Parliament meeting,” he said.

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