KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — The Pakatan Harapan presidential council today urged Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun to allow more MPs to attend the upcoming special Parliament sitting and for debates to be held.

The opposition coalition is also demanding for Azhar to state if he is going to adhere to the call by the King and Malay Rulers to reconvene Parliament to debate the emergency ordinances and the national recovery plan — or if he is merely going “to comply with the Cabinet’s directive”.

“We insist that Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree must be upheld by the government. The Speaker does not need to worry as we don’t intend to bring forward a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister.

“We wish to focus on important issues concerning the Covid-19 pandemic during the special sitting, as well as the rakyat’s burdens during the current economic crisis,” said the coalition.

In order to do this, Pakatan urged Azhar to ensure the limit of 80 MPs is removed, and all MPs allowed to attend the Dewan Rakyat whenever the sitting is taking place, which will enable those who wish to debate motions to do so.

“Similarly, full debates should be allowed on the ministerial motions for all issues as stated in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree, including on the National Recovery Plan, the Emergency Declaration, the Emergency Ordinances, the implementation of the vaccination programme, steps taken to curb Covid-19, as well as efforts to restore the economy and the rakyat’s livelihood.

“We cannot accept a Parliamentary sitting where MPs are called in only to listen to ceramahs or ministerial speeches without full debates,” it said.

Pakatan added that Azhar now had to decide whether or not he would uphold Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree, or simply follow the Cabinet’s orders.

“If the Speaker feels he is unable to implement these changes for the sitting, he is more than welcome to resign from his position,” it said.

Azhar’s statement on Sunday was in response to Pakatan’s earlier criticism of his July 15 statement, where he explained that the sitting from July 26 to August 2 will not include debates by the MPs.