Archive for the ‘Institution of Monarchy’ Category

Heed to the timely advice by Agong

Thursday, October 29th, 2020
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (right) granted an audience to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for a pre-Cabinet meeting at Istana Negara yesterday. The King reminded MPs that political squabbling for personal interest would not benefit the country and the people would become victims at a time the country was still battling threats brought on by Covid-19.- Photo by Bernama.  The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (right) granted an audience to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for a pre-Cabinet meeting at Istana Negara yesterday. The King reminded MPs that political squabbling for personal interest would not benefit the country and the people would become victims at a time the country was still battling threats brought on by Covid-19.- Photo by Bernama.

KUALA LUMPUR: The timely advice by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to support the upcoming tabling of the 2021 Budget must be heeded by all members of parliament (MPs).

Chairman of the Alliance for Safe Community Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the King’s call for all MPs to support the budget clearly shows that Al-Sultan Abdullah has been very much in touch with the ground.

“The King has been talking heavily about the affairs of the nation, where his concern lies in the country, its stability, and the welfare of the people.

“Hence, all MPs should put aside their differences and give their support for the 2021 Budget,” he told New Straits Times today.
Lee said the upcoming budget would outline proposals on how to address various issues that the country is currently facing, especially with regards to Covid-19.

“These include how to equip the Health Ministry with funds and allocations, as well as the necessary measures to tackle Covid-19.

“Also measures to help badly affected groups due to Covid-19, along with a lot of proposals to be tabled. Hence, the budget must be approved.”

Lee said that should the budget did not get approval, there will be no government spending, and without the budget, many people will be affected.

Lee said Parliament is the only appropriate place to pass the budget, following the role of parliamentary institution.

“There are too many issues right now in the country and tough times for everybody. Hence, they (the MPs) must have the commonality that can bring them together.

“It should be the stability of the country, the welfare of the people, and tackling the crisis of Covid.

“These are so important and override the politicking.”

Lee said the opposition MPs should be allowed to express their views on the 2021 Budget.

“The opposition MPs, of course, they want to be free to speak up, to ask questions about the budget and seek clarifications from the ministers, among others.

“However, when it comes to passing the budget, they must give their support because it is for the interest of the country.

“The budget is for the country, for the people and especially when the country is facing a crisis.”

Lee said he believed that all the MPs are matured enough and will heed to the advice of the King.

“Although all the MPs have their political ideologies, when it comes to the funds to be spent for the country and people to tackle the crisis, I think they should give their support to the budget.

“The politics will go on and we cannot expect the MPs not to talk about politics. However, it should be done at the right time, after we have managed to deal with various issues and rehabilitate the economy while waiting for the vaccine.”

Lee said from his point of view, most parties were responding well to the advice by the King.

“They know the urgency of the situation. (And) coming from the King, they also want to show their respect.”

Yesterday, Al-Sultan Abdullah advised MPs to fully support the 2021 Budget for the sake of harmony and the rakyat’s livelihood as well as for economic recovery, all of which have suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued by Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, the King stressed that the budget, due to be tabled in Dewan Rakyat on Nov 6, was important to the government and the authorities, particularly front liners to continue implementing policies and carry out efforts to curb the pandemic.

The King also reminded MPs that political squabbling for personal interest would not benefit the country and the people would become victims at a time the country was still battling threats brought on by Covid-19.

Ahmad Fadil said the King made this decree after an audience with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for the pre-Cabinet meeting at Istana Negara earlier yesterday.

By Nor Ain Mohamed Radhi.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/10/636333/heed-timely-advice-agong

Rakyat, particularly politicians must respond positively to King’s decree

Monday, October 26th, 2020

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 26): The retention of the status quo will be meaningless if the people, particularly politicians, do not respond positively, said Alliance For Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

He said this followed the decision by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Malay Rulers that there will be no declaration of emergency and the status quo remains.

He said the King had shown the way and it is now for the people to respond positively.

“This is not the time to try to win brownie points. Instead, this is the time for all the rakyat, the business community and the politicians to put our shoulders to the wheel to address the multifarious challenges facing the nation,” he said in a statement here today.

Lee also said this is the time for solidarity and for singleness of purpose to ensure the nation’s stability as the country is now facing many problems to tackle, all at the same time.

The King decreed yesterday that there was no need to declare an emergency in the country.

Al-Sultan Abdullah decreed that the matter was decided after carefully considering the request put forth by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and discussions with the Malay rulers, besides looking at the current situation in the country.

by Bernama.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/26/rakyat-particularly-politicians-must-respond-positively-to-kings-decree/

Malaysian Bar welcomes Agong’s wise move

Monday, October 26th, 2020

Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 26): The Malaysian Bar today welcomes and hails the wise move of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to protect the interest of rakyat by not declaring a state of emergency under Article 150(1) of the Federal Constitution.

Its president, Salim Bashir, said they echoed the views of His Majesty and the Malay Rulers that there are already current laws and mechanisms that have wide-ranging and comprehensive powers to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Malaysian Bar, therefore, urges politicians and the public to adhere to the rule of law and the Constitution, and to respect the Royal Decree,” he said in a statement here.

He also said that peace and stability, without question, supersede any form of disputes between politicians from differing factions and what the nation now needs is to focus on the health and welfare of the rakyat.

“Sufficient support must be provided to doctors, nurses and all those involved in the fight against the invisible enemy,” he said.

by Bernama.

REad more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/26/malaysian-bar-welcomes-agongs-wise-move/

Constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy put people’s welfare first – Malay Rulers

Monday, October 26th, 2020

Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad – File photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay Rulers who attended the special meeting at Istana Negara yesterday emphasised the importance of the country’s constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy in giving priority to the people’s welfare, said Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad.

“The Rulers also emphasised the importance of the principles of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy translated through the culture of governing, which at all times upholds the Federal Constitution and the rule of law that prioritises the welfare of the people,” he said in a statement tonight.

Syed Danial said the discussion understood the seriousness of the implications of the government’s request for a state of emergency to be declared on the country’s image, views of other countries, investor confidence from outside and within the country as well as aspects of the country’s prosperity and lives of the people.

“His Majesty (Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah) in his wisdom felt that it was very important for the matter to be discussed with the Malay Rulers,” he said.

Following the discussion with the Malay rulers yesterday, His Majesty stated that there was no necessity for an Emergency to be declared in the country.

It was attended by the Perak Sultan, who is also the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Terengganu Sultan, Raja of Perlis, Selangor Sultan, the Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, Johor Sultan, Kedah Sultan and Regent of Pahang.

Meanwhile, the Malay Rulers also expressed their gratitude to the King for choosing to hold a discussion and consulting them before arriving at any decision, he said.

“That spirit is in line with the culture of consultation that is often utilised in Islam when the faithful face a situation that requires a resolution,” he said.

Syed Danial said that during the discussion, the Malay Rulers had contributed their views and expressed their opinions openly and frankly in the spirit of mutual respect so that they could be used as a guide and reference by His Majesty to make a decision.

He said the Malay Rulers were also of the view that it was important to respect the check and balance mechanism between the various branches of the government and the role of His Majesty to balance various demands in order to ensure justice and check any abuse of power.

by Bernama.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/26/constitutional-monarchy-parliamentary-democracy-put-peoples-welfare-first-malay-rulers/

Budget 2021 very important to the people – Agong

Monday, October 26th, 2020

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has declared that Budget 2021 which will be tabled in Parliament is very important to the people. – Bernama file photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has declared that Budget 2021 which will be tabled in Parliament is very important to the people.

This was in order to handle the Covid-19 pandemic and restore the country’s economy, according to His Majesty.

“Therefore, financial allocations are much needed to facilitate the front-line staff in carrying out their duties and responsibilities,” the palace’s Comptroller of the Royal Household, Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, said in a statement yesterday.

According to the statement, Al-Sultan Abdullah is very concerned about the anxiety felt by the people following the surge in the number of new clusters and daily new COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Al-Sultan Abdullah has expressed his confidence that with the strong spirit of unity and fighting spirit that we have demonstrated previously, we will be united again to battle the third wave of the pandemic,” the statement said.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz is scheduled to table Budget 2021 in Parliament on Nov 6.

by Bernama.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/26/budget-2021-very-important-to-the-people-agong/

No emergency: “YDP Agong”, “Daulat Tuanku” trending on Twitter

Monday, October 26th, 2020

The phrases “YDP Agong”, “Daulat Tuanku” and “Sultan” are currently trending on Twitter following the decision by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to not declare an emergency in the country. – Bernama file photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The phrases “YDP Agong”, “Daulat Tuanku” and “Sultan” are currently trending on Twitter following the decision by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to not declare an emergency in the country.

Netizens hailing from Malaysia on Twitter expressed their relief and praised the wisdom of Al-Sultan Abdullah in making the decision after having a discussion with fellow Malay rulers at Istana Negara this afternoon.

Twitter user @iamfikrie shared his hope that the upcoming citizen-friendly 2021 Budget would be approved easily, and that both the government and opposition should be united in prioritising Malaysians.

Meanwhile, user @heyitsmaryamxo tweeted: “The Agong really came out with a statement to tell politicians to stop politicking and stop carrying such irresponsible acts that will make the nation unstable. The Agong has truly put these politicians back in their seats and tell (sic) them to wake up. Daulat Tuanku.”

Twitter account owner @papahazim posted that he believed that the royal institution was fair and did not take any political factions’ side, tweeting: “PM (Prime Minister) cannot issue an emergency and politicians should not block the budget that will be tabled. Give the current government a chance. Prioritise the citizens.”

Bank manager, Ashree Azhar, 31, was of the same opinion, stating that an emergency would only worsen the country’s economic situation and negatively affect investors.

“My hope is, if they really want to square off on who holds the legitimate right to govern, please prioritise the Covid-19 (pandemic) first. In the current economic situation, if a state emergency is declared, it will make the situation more chaotic,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, freelance photographer, Najihatul Aulaa Jalidar, 27, was of the opinion that the King’s decree was a gentle reminder for all parties to calm down because this is not the time to forward their agendas, but to focus on the citizens.

She was confident that the decision was for the best, taking into account the country’s situation in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, a time that requires sane and responsible leadership.
Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara, Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin today announced that Al-Sultan Abdullah decreed that there was no need for an emergency to be declared in the country.

Ahmad Fadil said that the decree came after His Majesty carefully studied the request presented by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and discussed it with the Malay rulers, besides looking at the current situation in the country.

by Bernama.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/26/no-emergency-ydp-agong-daulat-tuanku-trending-on-twitter/

“King’s decision on state of emergency set a precedent’

Monday, October 26th, 2020
The Malay rulers met at Istana Negara yesterday to discuss recommendations proposed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. BERNAMA PIC
The Malay rulers met at Istana Negara yesterday to discuss recommendations proposed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. BERNAMA PIC
KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decision to reject the government’s call for a state of emergency has been described as a crucial development in the role of a constitutional monarch in Malaysia.

Political, constitutional and legal experts said this in the wake of Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s decision yesterday on there being no necessity for such a proclamation as requested by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Political analyst and law lecturer Professor Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood, from the International Islamic University, sees it as an important development in regard to the tenets on the role of a constitutional monarch in Malaysia.

“What is important from the decision is that the king has refused the advice of the prime minister in regard to the declaration of a state of emergency.

“This goes against the established principles of law that the king acts on the advice of the prime minister when a state of emergency is requested.”

He said as per Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution, it was suggested that the king might have acted on his own discretion.

The article reads: “If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the federation or any part thereof is threatened, he may issue a proclamation of emergency making therein a declaration to that effect.

“The phrase ‘is satisfied’ connotes discretion. I believe that the words have been given a new meaning this time,” he told the New Straits Times.

Asked if the prime minister could still stand firm in his views to proclaim an emergency or prorogue Parliament following the king’s decision, Nik Ahmad said though it was possible, there was a high likelihood that this would not be the case.

 Professor Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik MahmoodProfessor Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood

“Prorogue is on advisement as well.

“The convention is that the king acts on advice.

“There is a likelihood that the king would agree, but just wait and see.

“There is no point to prorogue because the 2021 Budget would not be passed and next year, the government’s machinery could not function (without funds).

“It is Al-Sultan Abdullah who puts his royal seal (of approval) to the proclamation and when he does not agree, it will be a no-go.”

He added that the decision, which was lauded by many, also showed that His Majesty listened to the views of the people, to analyse and consider seriously before agreeing to a request from the government.

It was also an indication or signal to the government to deal with challenges by way of a more acceptable measure, rather than through a drastic decision to declare an emergency, he said.

“Besides, it is a signal to all other politicians to think about the welfare of the people before striving to gain political advantages in the light of the worsening economic situation and increasing threats from the pandemic.

“The king is calling on politicians to give priority to the interest of the rakyat, rather than raise issues for political mileage.”

Political analyst and senior fellow with the Singapore Institute of International Affairs Dr Oh Ei Sun said there were different, perhaps equally valid, opinions in constitutional interpretation as to whether the king could exercise discretion in proclaiming an emergency or would have to invariably follow the advice of the prime minister.

He said the non-proclamation by the king sets a precedent in favour of the latter’s interpretation.

“So it adds another layer of checks and balances against arbitrary, anti-democratic acts by the government of the day.

“I think the rulers and the overwhelming majority of the people are of the opinion that the pandemic, though serious, does not justify the suspension of democratic politics.

“That would be a huge, further step backward for a country that was substantially democratised only two years ago, but was essentially politically regressed earlier this year.”

He added that the decision showed that king had strong belief in the ability of the government under the leadership of the prime minister to continue implementing policies and enforcement actions to curb the Covid-19 transmission.

Constitutional expert Associate Professor Dr Shamrahayu Abd Aziz said the decision showed that the king had deliberated Muhyiddin’s request with the rulers during their special meeting yesterday.

“The decision has been made through a serious and careful deliberation, so that we would not worry.

“The people’s interests and livelihoods would be given focus in any decision made.

“Although there were concerns that the king acts on the advice of the cabinet, but it is also important to realise and take into account that the king would ensure the institution of monarchy would not be influenced by politics, whether it’s is the government or opposition.

“The king, as the ultimate authority of the country and in his superior capacity in the federation, acts above politicians or political parties. This is because the institution of monarchy is given the trust by the law and constitution, in that it has to ensure whatever decisions made is for the ultimate importance of all people.

“Hence, as responsible citizens, we must have the belief that the king is doing the best for the people and the nation.”

Lawyer and constitutional legal expert Nizam Bashir said there were two schools of thought where Article 150 was concerned.

He said one school of thought took the position that the power to declare an emergency in Article 150 was a discretionary power of the king as per the phrase “in any other case mentioned in this Constitution” as contained in Article 40(2).

The other, he said, involved the power to declare an emergency, which as per Article 150 is a non-discretionary power, that is Al-Sultan Abdullah should act on the advice of the prime minister.

“There are cases that seem to support the latter school of thought and affirms that the king is a constitutional monarch, bound by the constitution to act at all times on the advice of the cabinet, as seen in Madhavan Nair v Government [1975] 2 MLJ 286 and Teh Cheng Poh v PP [1979] 1 MLJ 50.”

However, Nizam said that when considering those cases, one should do so without losing sight of the precise words used in Article 150(1) and crucially in Article 150(8) of the Federal Constitution.

Among others, Article 150(8) states that the satisfaction of the king mentioned in Clause (1) and Clause (2B) shall be final and conclusive and shall not be challenged or called into question in any court on any ground.

Secondly, he said, one should take into account the observations of the Federal Court in Stephen Kalong Ningkan v Government of Malaysia [1968] 1 MLJ 119, which in essence held that it is the king alone who decides whether a state of emergency, wherein the security or economic life of the federation was threatened, existed and that judgment, broadly speaking, was non-justiciable.

“Put more succinctly, if the king is satisfied that there is no necessity, for the time being, to issue a proclamation of emergency, then that is the end of the matter.”

By Tharanya Arumugam.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/10/635251/kings-decision-state-emergency-set-precedent

Avoid old mistakes of the ideological kind

Sunday, October 25th, 2020
The then Sarawak chief minister  Abdul Rahman Ya’kub (second from left) announcing that 482 communists have agreed to lay down their arms in Kuching on March 4, 1974. With him are (from left) the then deputy chief minister Stephen Yong, the then home minister Mohd Ghazali Shafie and the then Sarawak affairs minister Temenggong Jugah.  FILE PICThe then Sarawak chief minister Abdul Rahman Ya’kub (second from left) announcing that 482 communists have agreed to lay down their arms in Kuching on March 4, 1974. With him are (from left) the then deputy chief minister Stephen Yong, the then home minister Mohd Ghazali Shafie and the then Sarawak affairs minister Temenggong Jugah. FILE PIC

THIS month, as fellow columnist Ong Weichong noted in an earlier article, marks the 30th anniversary of the formal ending of the communist insurgency in Sarawak. The Kuching Peace Agreement of 1990 brought back to society the remnants of the insurgents. A far more significant laying-down of arms was facilitated by the Sri Aman peace accord of 1973.

If the five-decade-old insurgency could be said to have effectively ended with a bang in 1973, it conclusively ended with a whimper in 1990. Nevertheless, the insurgency’s duration pointed to the appeal of the Maoist-inspired ideology behind it. Also, while some native Dayaks were recruited into the insurgency, it had a strong ethnic affinity for Sarawak Chinese.

At its height, the insurgents
infiltrated the top hierarchy of Sarawak’s oldest political party, the Sarawak United People’s Party, which was, of course, the major political vehicle campaigning against Sarawak becoming a part of the Malaysia proposal when it was first mooted.

The porous Borneo borders
then meant political activists from Brunei, Indonesian Kalimantan and Sarawak moved freely about. The politically-ascendant Partai Komunis Indonesia at the time and the country’s nationalist president, Sukarno, were major headaches for the then Sarawak colonial administration and, after Malaysia came into being, for the succeeding federation.

The fall of Sukarno and the anti-Communist coup that brought General Suharto to power in 1966 brought an end to Confrontation and took much of the wind out of the sail of the Sarawak insurgency. Its days were numbered from there on and its leaders finally sued for peace.

Insurgent leader Bong Kee Chok and the then Sarawak chief minister Datuk (later Tun) Abdul Rahman Ya’kub met in 1973 in Simanggang (subsequently renamed Bandar Sri Aman) to seal the Sri Aman peace deal. Thus was secured an agreement that stopped a debilitating drain on the country’s and state’s resources and allowed a much-needed and welcome focus on economic issues and development objectives.

What are the major takeaways from Sarawak’s peaceful end to its armed insurgency, which at its height terrorised ordinary people and imposed security lockdowns and curfews even in urban centres like Sibu?

Foremost, I believe we need to have a healthy recognition that no man is an island, as the cliché goes, especially for a relatively small country like ours, sandwiched by much larger neighbours to the north, south and east. Whatever happens in our neighbourhood almost inevitably seeps across our borders one way or another.

Confrontation-era Indonesia was a prime example. Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, probably said it best when he
described the regional stability afforded by Suharto as having helped his island republic immeasurably too. The same can be said for our country.

Today, we confront new security-related threats along our eastern borders with the Philippines as radicalised Muslim insurgents there cross over with disturbing regularity to wreak havoc on Sabah. A lack of economic opportunities at home has meant hundreds of thousands of Filipinos have taken to seeing Sabah as the promised land, creating transient settlements which have become more or less permanent and posing political headaches to successive governments in Kota Kinabalu and Putrajaya.

Our policies to “prosper thy neighbour” — first by helping to midwife a new political dispensation for disenfranchised Filipino Muslims and eventually to help kickstart economic development in the southern Philippines through investments — are on the right track, although we seem to need almost infinite patience to see real fruits developing.

A far bigger neighbour looms over our horizons — China. Just as it was the source of ideological inspiration for ethnic kindred spirits taken in by Maoist theories and political guerilla tactics, today, it is the source of much more positive and benign inspiration as China’s economic rise captures popular imaginations the world over.

Still, as this brings in its wake the West now regarding China as a strategic competitor, a small nation like ours may be dragged into such rivalry. Malaysians must be clear-eyed about where our best interests lie and avoid the mistake our earlier communist insurgents made of needlessly taking sides in the great ideological or strategic battles of the day.

By John Teo.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/10/634979/avoid-old-mistakes-ideological-kind

Experts say Parliament should resume session

Sunday, October 25th, 2020
Parliament should resume its session to pass the budget and enact laws to resolve the   economic crisis, a constitutional expert said. - Bernama file picParliament should resume its session to pass the budget and enact laws to resolve the economic crisis, a constitutional expert said. – Bernama file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Parliament should resume its session to pass the budget and enact laws to resolve the economic crisis, a constitutional expert said.

Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said an emergency should take place only if Parliament failed to obtain a majority in passing a crucial bill, for example.

Shad was commenting on speculation about the status of Parliament, following Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Friday.

The palace said Muhyiddin had presented recommendations to the king during the two-hour meeting.

Parliament should be re-summoned to pass the budget and enact laws to combat our economic crisis.

“If Parliament fails to act or is deadlocked, only then an emergency should be proclaimed. And then the emergency Ordinances should fill the breach,” he told the New Sunday Times.

Asked if the king should intervene to resolve the political intrigue, Shad said the constitutional monarch was above politics and expected to remain neutral in factional disputes.

“(The) declaration of an emergency is not a prerogative of the monarch.

“However, it is reasonable for His Majesty to ask a prime minister who is facing a no-confidence (vote) to sort out the issue of confidence first before advising a proclamation of emergency.

“He is a constitutional monarch who acts on advice on all matters, save those under Article 40(2) of the Federal Constitution.”

Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem FaruqiEmeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi

The article stipulates that the king may act in his discretion in the appointment of a prime minister; the withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution; and the requisition of a meeting of the Conference of Rulers concerned solely with the privileges, position, honours and dignities of their royal highnesses; and any action at such a meeting and in any other case mentioned in this Constitution.

Shad said there were a lot of issues to be addressed should an emergency be declared.

“Should Parliament be sent into prorogation from August to February or should it be suspended?

“Suspended here means it’s not operational any more, but that can be done only during an emergency, or should it be dissolved should there be an emergency?”

Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla said a “health emergency” was unnecessary as the processes and procedures to contain Covid-19 were present.

He said the king had the discretionary powers to reject the prime minister’s advice, especially in this scenario.

Experts said the king was meticulous in efforts to reach a decision as seen in the move to hold a discussion with the Malay rulers.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s constitutional expert Dr Muhammad Fathi Yusof told Bernama any decision that would affect the nation should be made with great wisdom and consideration.

“The ruler is not required to hold consultations although the Constitution mentions that the king can seek views from the Malay rulers.

“It is an important matter to look into and the Malay rulers occasionally consult one another before making any decision. So the step taken by the king is appropriate.

By Veena Babulal and Farah Solhi.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/10/635026/experts-say-parliament-should-resume-session

What is proroguing Parliament?

Sunday, October 25th, 2020
Proroguing Parliament is the act of terminating a parliamentary session to be replaced with its next session, without the dissolution of Parliament. - NSTP file picProroguing Parliament is the act of terminating a parliamentary session to be replaced with its next session, without the dissolution of Parliament. – NSTP file pic

MUCH has been said of late regarding proroguing Parliament. But what does that mean? We break it down for you.

Q: What does proroguing Parliament mean?

A: Proroguing Parliament is the act of terminating a parliamentary session to be replaced with its next session, without the dissolution of Parliament.

Q: When would such a thing occur?

A: Prorogation is commonly done before the end of a parliamentary term (end of year), although the law never specifies it should be done during that time or on the third meeting of a term. Prorogation of Parliament could be executed at any time as proclaimed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Q: How is it carried out?

A: Proroguing Parliament is done based on Article 55(2) of the Federal Constitution, which states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the absolute power to prorogue or dissolve the Parliament. His Majesty will then make a proclamation summoning a parliamentary session that will be done through a Federal Gazette. Any Bill pending in Parliament shall not lapse by reason of the prorogation of Parliament.

Q: When was the last time a prorogation of Parliament was carried out?

A: Based on the Federal Gazette, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah proclaimed that the Second Term of the 14th Parliament, which commenced on March 11, 2019, was prorogued on March 2 this year. He had done this under Clause 2 of Article 55 of the Federal Constitution.

Q: What happens when Parliament is prorogued?

A: Often called a “reset” or “reboot” of Parliament, it shuts down all parliamentary business.

The House stops sitting and committees can’t meet, but members keep their seats and the Government remains in place.

Prorogation does not affect legislation that has already been passed. Any existing bills and ongoing committee work — including studies and investigations — are halted, and can be introduced as entirely new.

Q:Can MPs vote against prorogation?

A: No. Proroguing Parliament is not voted on by MPs so cannot be stopped in this way.

Q: How long can a Parliament be prorogued?

A: For a maximum period of six months. Article 55(1) states that, ‘[The King] …shall not allow six months to elapse between the last sitting in one session … and the date appointed for its first meeting on the next session’

Q:What happens to the government during a prorogued Parliament?

A: All government matters will go on as usual.

Q: What’s the difference between proroguing Parliament and declaring emergency?

A: During prorogation, the Parliament cannot meet. Agong cannot make law and all government actions are subject to the Constitution. Meanwhile, during an emergency, Parliament may sit. If the Parliament is not in session, Agong can make law (Ordinance) and if Parliament is in session, it can make law. Laws made for the purpose of emergency may be inconsistent with the constitution.

Q: When has the prorogation of Parliament been carried out due to a declaration of Emergency?

A: Parliament has only been suspended once in Malaysian history following the May 13 racial riots in 1969. It led to the suspension of Parliament for two years and the formation of an emergency administrative body aimed at restoring law and order to the country. From 1969 to 1971, our nation was administered by the National Operations Council in lieu of the elected government.

Q: How many times has an Emergency been declared in the country?

A: Four had been declared so far:

- In 1964 to deal with the Indonesian confrontation.

- In 1966 to get rid of the Sarawak Chief Minister at the behest of the Federal Government.

- In 1969 in the aftermath of the May 13 racial riots.

- In 1977 as a result of the collapse of the Kelantan government then headed by Datuk Mohamed Nasir.

Q:What happens when Parliament returns?

A: When Parliament resumes, there is a State Opening of Parliament during which the King reads a speech that sets out the Government’s legislative programme for the next year.

Q:What happens to the upcoming Budget 2021 (if an emergency is declared or if there is prorogation)?

A: Budget 2021 is set to be tabled on Nov 6. If there is declaration of emergency, whatever law, including the budget, must be tabled before Parliament once Parliament resumes. Budget Bill be postponed until parliament resumes. If budget is not tabled this year, by Jan 1, government and its machinery cannot use the public money. Civil servants will not get paid and new development project cannot take off.

If Parliament is to be prorogued, budget, somehow or rather, has to be passed. There is a possibility that Emergency law (Emergency Ordinance) may be used to approve and pass the budget for next year. Of course, if Emergency is to be declared.

Q: Will there necessarily be a curfew with an Emergency declaration?

A: Not necessarily. A curfew may even be imposed now under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, if deemed necessary.

Q: What other countries have recently prorogued Parliament?

A: Canada: On Aug 18, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Governor General Julie Payette to prorogue parliament until Sept 23. Trudeau had said he wanted a reset as “the throne speech we delivered eight months ago made no mention of Covid-19.… We need to reset the approach of this government for a recovery to build back better.”

United Kingdom: It happens nearly every year for a few days in the autumn to allow political parties to hold their annual conferences. In September 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks from Sept 10, 2019 amid the Brexit mess sparked extraordinary political and legal controversy before it was declared unlawful and of no effect by the Supreme Court.

by New Straits Times.

Rea more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/10/635009/what-proroguing-parliamen