As clock counts down to Parliament special sitting, Zahid orders Umno MPs to table motion, vote against Emergency proclamation

A livestream of Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s online press conference at Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, July 7, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
A livestream of Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s online press conference at Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, July 7, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Umno federal lawmakers have been instructed to table a motion and vote to end the Proclamation of Emergency ahead of tomorrow’s Special Parliamentary sitting.

Party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Bagan Datok MP, issued the directive in a circular this evening.

“Umno MPs must express the party’s position to seek the Parliament debate and end the Proclamation of Emergency and its Ordinances,” he said.

“Umno MPs must express their support to end the Proclamation of Emergency and its Ordinances through a vote,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid said the party’s rejection of the proclamation is meant to voice public opposition to Emergency rule.

The faction supporting the Umno president, together with Opposition lawmakers, claimed the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government had abused its power by evoking the Emergency.

“Imposing the Emergency had clearly failed to stem and contain the Covid-19 pandemic, but instead was a political trick and a tool to subvert parliamentary democracy,” Ahmad Zahid said.

It remains to be seen if any lawmakers will be allowed to make such a motion during the five-day sitting that will start tomorrow.

Earlier today, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said that only matters set by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would be discussed, adding that no other motion would be accepted.

He cited Standing Order 11(3) of the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders, which empowers the prime minister to set the agenda of the meeting.

Critics have said that the Muhyiddin government is avoiding Opposition scrutiny towards its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahmad Zahid also suggested that failure to vote against the Proclamation could pave the way for Emergency rule to be extended.

“We must understand the implications of Article 150(7) of the Federal Constitution that Emergency Ordinances will continue for (another) six months if it is not called off as provided under Article 150(3),” he said.

Umno has repeatedly rejected any possibility of extending Emergency rule beyond August 1.

The party passed a resolution at its annual general assembly in April calling for all its lawmakers to withdraw its support of PN and quit all government posts should Muhyiddin fail to end the Emergency by August 1.

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