Parliament to convene for five days from July 26, says PMO

The government is to advise the king to recall Parliament for a five-day sitting starting July 26. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 5, 2021.

THE Dewan Rakyat will convene for five days, while the Dewan Negara will sit for three days, later this month, said the Prime Minister’s office.

In a statement, the PMO said the government has agreed to advise Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to summon the Dewan Rakyat for a special meeting from July 26 to July 29 and on August 2.

It said the Dewan Negara will sit for a similar special meeting from August 3 to August 5.

“The meetings are to inform MPs of the government’s Covid-19 recovery plan and make changes to the laws to allow for hybrid meetings,” the statement said.

The PMO said, based on Article 150(3) of the federal constitution, the emergency declaration will be tabled before the lower and upper houses.

This article also outlines that both the declaration and ordinances can be revoked if Parliament elects to do so.

It said the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the meetings of both houses will be set by the National Security Council and Health Ministry, adding that cabinet had been notified of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s decision to advise the king to summon Parliament.

Last Friday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliament) Takiyuddin Hassan said Muhyiddin had agreed that Parliament would convene before August 1

He said the date of the meeting will be decided by the cabinet at its meeting on July 7.

“The prime minister, as the head of Parliament, has decided to call for a sitting as soon as possible, before August 1, 2021,” he said in a statement today.

“This will be finalised during the July 7 cabinet meeting,” he said.

Takiyuddin’s statement came after the Agong, in a message to the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara heads, reiterated his earlier decree that Parliament should convene “as soon as possible”.

In a statement on June 29, Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the Agong had conveyed this to lower house speaker Azhar Azizan Harun and upper house president Rais Yatim during the audience that morning.

“During the one-hour session, which was also attended by Dewan Negara deputy president Mohamad Ali Mohamad and Dewan Rakyat deputy speakers Azalina Othman Said and Rashid Hasnon, the king reiterated that Parliament needs to reconvene immediately, adhering to guidelines and standard operating procedure put in place by the government,” the statement read.

“This is to allow the emergency decelaration and its ordinances to be tabled in Parliament, as stipulated under article 150 of the federal constitution.”

On June 16, after a Conference of Rulers meeting, the king decreed that Parliament should convene as soon as possible to debate the emergency ordinances.

In a separate statement, the Conference of Rulers decreed that emergency should not be extended beyond August 1.

Fadil said the king also felt that all parliamentary select committees must continue meeting to provide checks and balances.

“This is to ensure an administration that is transparent, and acts with integrity and responsibility, especially on public policy issues, financial issues and public spending,” he said.

A day later, in a joint statement, Azhar and Rais said Muhyiddin had been informed of the king’s decree.

“It is proposed to the prime minister that a special sitting be held before August 1,” they added. – July 5, 2021.

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