By Khairul Azran Hussin
SHAH ALAM, Jan 13 — The act of stopping the Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies sitting during the emergency affects the institution’s function as a platform to discuss the interest of the people, especially in the fight against Covid-19.
Selangor Backbenchers Club chairman Elizabeth Wong Elizabeth Wong said the institution must be allowed to proceed as usual as a venue for the check-and-balance process to decisions made by the government.
“The decision cannot be accepted at all and, what is worse, the rule of tyranny has prevailed when the government removes these check-and-balance safeguards.
“I urge the Prime Minister to reconsider today’s (yesterday’s) announcement and allow all state assemblies and the parliament to convene, with enhanced SOPs if necessary, but meet they must as scheduled,” Wong said in a statement.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies will not convene throughout the period of emergency and that there will be no general, state, or by-elections to be held.
Muhyiddin also said the emergency declaration is also not a military coup nor will there be a curfew, instead the present government will continue to function according to the Federal Constitution.
He said an independent committee will be established through the issuance of an Ordinance by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to assess the need and a suitable time for a general election to be held.