AAS wants persons responsible for EO misinformation to be accountable

The Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur.

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KUCHING, Aug 4: The Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) holds the view that the persons responsible for creating recent misinformation over the revocation of the Emergency Order (EO) that had caused much disarray over the whole country and Parliament, leading to distrust in the ability of the current government should take full responsibility and be accountable towards the people for their actions.

AAS president Antonio Sim highlighted this in a statement responding to the King’s rebuke over the revocation of EO announced by de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan in Parliament with effect from July 21 without the assent of the Agong as strictly required under the provisions of the Federal Constitution.

“This is in order to instil faith and confidence in the governance of the country as whole, the Parliament ought to be allowed to shoulder on its law-making responsibilities without being impeded and all elected parliamentarians would do well to heed the Parliament’s right authority, to recognise and adhere to the supremacy of the Federal Constitution and its due process,” he said in a statement issued on Friday (July 30).

Noting that such unilateral revocation by the Cabinet has caused the King’s displeasure, Sim disclosed that AAS was saddened and disappointed to learn of the recent events surrounding the sudden and controversial revocation of the EO without the assent of the King.

“The Cabinet through its ministers has seemed to go against due process to effectively impede the Parliament in discharging and carrying out its constitutional responsibilities.

“The AAS perceives such act as going against the very nature and spirit of the Constitution, and such attempt to pre-empt the Parliament itself has caused much disarray over the whole country, leading to distrust in the ability of the current (Perikatan Nasional) government in combating the Covid-19 pandemic and improving the lives and livelihood of the people and to revive the Malaysian economy.

“Such unconstitutional conduct should not, at any time or place, be condoned,” he pointed out.

Sim stressed that the AAS recognised the Federal Constitution as the Supreme Law which forms the bedrock of the nation upon which the underlying basis of a legal system lies.

He quoted Article 150(2B) of the Federal Constitution, which read: “If at any time while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, except when both Houses are sitting concurrently, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that certain circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgare such ordinances as circumstance appear to him to require.”

He added that Article 150(3) read: “A Proclamation of Emergency and any ordinance promulgated under Clause (2B) shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and, if not sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect if resolutions are passed by both Houses annulling such Proclamation or ordinance but without prejudices to anything previously done by virtue thereof or to the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to issue a new Proclamation under Clause (1) or promulgated any ordinance under Clause (2B).”

With this in mind, AAS recognised the most fundamental principle enshrined under the Federal Constitution and as such, Sim stressed that the Parliament is the one and only ultimate and rightful law-making authority in the country.

“It is by virtue of this that the Parliament owes its duties and responsibilities to the people by safeguarding the principles of democracy deep-rooted in the Federal Constitution.

“In such difficult times whereby the whole country and its people are facing the crisis of global pandemic, the recent special Parliamentary sitting are all the more important where the Cabinet, Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Speaker of Parliament gathered to discuss with hopes of alleviating and resolving the sufferings, financial hardships, and generally helplessness of the people arising from the recent promulgation of emergency laws, the travel restrictions and lockdown orders as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added. — DayakDaily