By P Ramakrishnan
(NOTE: The Agong and the palace have clarified the issues raised in this article – the lie has been nailed!)
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I’m no lawyer and therefore I’m not confused. Unlike some lawyers, I have no problem in understanding what is meant.
The emergency promulgated by the Agong, if not revoked by him, cannot be annulled by the cabinet. The cabinet has no such power and neither has it been endowed with the authority to revoke it. Only parliament has that authority to revoke the emergency when the emergency ordinances are put before it to debate and decide its fate.
The lawyers on the government side don’t see it that way. The Speaker of Parliament is a stumbling block preventing the truth from being exposed, repeating ad nauseam,“Unless revoked earlier” without stating by whom.
On 26 July when the special sitting of parliament took place, the de facto law minister, Takiyuddin Hassan, stunned parliament with the disclosure that the emergency ordinances were annulled on 21 July. He declared that the emergency was no longer in force as from 21 July.
I’m not a lawyer but I know that this lawyer doesn’t understand the law. He is not telling the truth because the cabinet cannot annul the emergency. He was misleading the House because there was no documentary evidence to back up his claim. There was neither a gazette notification nor a palace announcement to support his claim. He couldn’t produce a signed document by the Agong revoking the emergency.
When the Opposition demanded to know if the Agong had revoked the emergency, the question went unanswered. The Speaker was no help either – he ruled that all questions pertaining to the legality of the so-called annulment would be answered on 2 August, the following Monday, ora week later. What is the rationale for his ruling? He doesn’t care to explain. It is his prerogative to be ridiculous!
Obviously, the Speaker was buying time for the Perikatan Nasional to sort out this blunder by cooking up another tale!
It is very obvious to all and sundry that there was no signed document to support that the emergency and the ordinances were indeed revoked by the Agong. If there was, then it would have been produced posthaste. This would have saved unnecessary time spent arguing on the legality of the cabinet action. The MPs were truly riled because what was claimed to have been done had no legal basis.
In a desperate attempt to avoid debate on this issue, Putrajaya thought that it could circumvent this problem of debate and defeat in parliament by illegally annulling the emergency. They must be emboldened that the Speaker would save their skin in ruling in their favour. But it will take more than a pliable Speaker to rescue the Perikatan Nasional.
As if it wasn’t enough to go through a day of confusion and incredulity, on the second day of parliament, another cabinet minister, Federal Territories Minister, Annuar Musa, dropped a bombshell by stating that the revocation of the emergency was “in the process” – meaning that the annulment had not taken place. Both Takiyuddin and Annuar Musa are members of the same cabinet. They both must have attended the same cabinet meeting on 21 July when the so-called decision was taken and yet we have two contrasting versions of the decision taken, contradicting what Takiyuddin had announced a day earlier in parliament.
If one is telling the truth, there could only be one version of the decision – not two. One of them – or both – must be lying!
The vast majority of loyal, patriotic Malaysians believe that the Agong had not consented to the revocation of the emergency. They believe that only the Agong can come out with the truth. They hope the Agong will clarify the truth and ensure that Malaysia is on the path of democracy observing the rule of law.
Malaysians expect the Palace to throw light and clear the conflicting versions that have been dished out by the PN government.
We are reminded of this quotation: “If you are feeling that the government is misleading you, you are not alone.” ― Steven Magee
First published at this link on 28 July 2021
(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)