The Malaysian government will not advise the King to allow Parliament to reconvene during the Emergency period until its expected end date on 1 August, said Minister for Parliament and Law in the Prime Minister’s Department, Takiyuddin Hassan.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday (3 March), Takiyuddin said that the Palace’s statement on 24 Feb was meant to clarify that the Cabinet is the one in charge of advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on when Parliament can convene.
He also said there was no need for the Parliament to sit as the King is able to enact laws through the Emergency Ordinance.
“It is the Cabinet’s decision to call for the Parliament to meet, and the situation now is that the Cabinet is advising the King that there will not be any Parliament sittings,” he said.
“The prime minister has given assurance that the Parliament will convene once the Emergency is lifted. For the time being, Parliament will not convene and members of Parliament (MPs) can focus on handling the COVID-19,” he added.
He also expressed the government’s concern about the health and safety of elected representatives, highlighting that 77 of the 222 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat were above the age of 60.
“A large number of our MPs are included in the high-risk group. We do not want them to be exposed as the Parliament is a closed space,” he said.
On 24 Feb, the King said the Parliament is allowed to convene during the Emergency, on a date deemed suitable by him upon the advice of the prime minister.
This has prompted several MPs including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to urge the government to reconvene Parliament.