Annulment of EOs must be tabled and voted upon immediately
29 Julai 2021
We the undersigned civil society groups call upon the Government and the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat to allow MPs to present, debate and vote on a motion to annul the six Emergency Ordinances (EOs) before the sitting ends on August 2 (Monday) so that the Dewan Negara may complete the annulment in its sitting from August 3 (Tuesday) to August 5 (Thursday).
In the unprecedentedly direct rebuke by the Palace today, the alleged revocation of EOs on 21 July by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan on Monday, 26 July, which is now confirmed to be “inaccurate and misleading to the Members of Dewan Rakyat” by the Palace. It is now revealed that in the online audience on 24 July (Saturday) granted to both the Minister and Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, the Palace did not consent to the revocation but recommended that the EOs be tabled and debated for annulment.
The Speaker, Datuk Seri Azhar Azizan Harun, or whichever of his deputies who presides over the meeting, must invoke Standing Orders 90 and 100 together with Standing Order 26(1)(m) to assert the House's overriding authority and control over its own business, so that a motion to annul the EOs may be presented, debated and voted on immediately. The Speaker’s earlier ruling for Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan to explain the matter is now invalid by circumstance.
Regardless of any change to the Government and any of its ministers and senior officials, the annulment of EOs must be made the first item of the agenda from now on. The EOs must be annulled so that there is no doubt that they will not remain in force until 1 February 2022, for six more months after the lapse of the Emergency Proclamation on 1 August as per Article 150(7) of the Federal Constitution.
Amongst them, the EO No 6 carries compounds of RM 10,000 and RM 50,000 for violation of SOPs while the EO No 2 carries the maximum penalty of six years of imprisonment and RM 500,000 in fine for a fake-news-related offence. These EOs, as the Emergency Proclamation itself, were made when the Parliament was not in session. The EOs must be debated and annulled in this sitting and not postponed to the next sitting in September.
We also support the motion by YB Gobind Singh Deo, the MP of Puchong to refer Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan to the Committee of Privileges for his unfounded claim of the revocation of the EOs. The Speaker, or his deputies who preside the meeting, must not taint the august House with more partisan and unprofessional rulings. The Speaker’s conduct in these four days has marked a phenomenally low point even by the diminished standards of the House since last July.
This statement is initiated by the Seed Community for a Professional Parliament, a network of individuals active in civil society organisations, think tanks and academia working towards a professional Parliament that facilitates healthy policy competition between parties.
1. Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)
3. Bait Al-Amanah
4. Institute for Political Reform and Democracy (REFORM)
5. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)
6. Persatuan Pengundi Muda (UNDI18)