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“Most MPs are at-risk individuals” Law Minister Says No Need For Parliament To Convene



Source: Astro Awani & Astro Awani

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On 24 February 2021, the Agong released a statement via the Istana Negara stating that the Parliament can convene during the Emergency period effective on a date deemed appropriate after discussing with the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

However, in a press conference today, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, said there is no need to call a Parliamentary session during the Emergency Proclamation Period. He added that the Parliamentary session will be decided by the Cabinet based on the current situation in the country before advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, reported Astro Awani.

The matter is also enshrined in Section 14 (1) of the Emergency Ordinance (Necessary Powers) including for Parliament prorogue. He clarified that Istana Negara’s statement that decision to convene the Parliament was based on the decision made by the Cabinet.

“So right now, the Cabinet is advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that there is no Parliamentary session. Istana Negara states that if a parliamentary session is to be held, then there must be a decision by the Cabinet, not the Prime Minister”

Datuk Seri Takiyuddin stated that apart from the legal angle, the main focus of the government is to fight the pandemic while at the same time, minimising the risk to MPs.

“There are 220 members in the Parliament. Of that number, a total of 77 MPs are 61 to 69 years old. 19 people are between 70 and 79 years old, while four people are 80 years old and above.”

“Almost all MPs are at risk groups and we do not want to be exposed to these things because we are in a closed space.”

In Agong’s statement, he mentioned that the decision to allow the Parliament to convene disproves the perception of some that the Emergency Declaration will stop the Parliament from convening. “The Declaration of Emergency on 12 January 2021 was merely a step to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus which has taken more than 1,000 lives so far,” the statement added.

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Also read: Agong Says Parliament Can Convene During Emergency

Source: Astro Awani
Source: Astro Awani

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