#kerajaangagal204 – Tomorrow is Azhar’s “Give me liberty or give me death” moment as Speaker of Parliament
Tomorrow is Azhar Azizan Harun’s “Give me liberty or give me death” moment as Speaker of Malaysian Parliament.
He must decide whether to uphold parliamentary privileges and principles as the House of Commons Speaker William Lenthal did in 1642 and famously said to King Charles I: “May it please your majesty. I have neither eyes to see or tongue to speak in this place but as this House is pleased to direct me whose servant I am here; and I humbly beg your majesty’s pardon that I cannot give any other answer than this to what your majesty is pleased to demand of me.”
Tomorrow, Azhar must decide whether he represents Parliament or whether he represents the Executive in the five-day Parliament special meeting.
It is Azhar’s challenge as Speaker to end the constitutional havoc caused by a government fearing to test its majority in Parliament by upholding the Malaysian Constitution founded on the bedrock principles of a constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary democracy and the doctrine of the separation of powers or be prepared to pay the price for his principles.
Why should Azhar flinch from upholding the Malaysian Constitution principles of constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary democracy and the doctrine of separation of powers and have to submit to the dictates of the Prime Minister?
As Parliament Speaker, he must fulfil the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers’ decree for Parliament to be convened to debate the Emergency Proclamation, the Emergency Ordinances and the National Recovery Plan to end the Covid-19 pandemic or to resign as Parliament Speaker if he cannot fulfil the decree of the Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Rulers that Parliament should debate the Emergency Proclamation, Emergency Ordinances and the National Recovery Plan.
This should now not pose any problem as the Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Taikyuddin Hassan had given their word that there would be debate when Parliament convenes tomorrow and the Prime Minister had written to him as the Dewan Rakyat Speaker requesting for the MPs to be allowed to debate and ask questions.
Azhar must now ensure that there would be voting on each of the five Ministerial statements as well as debate and vote on the Emergency Proclamation and Ordinances.
I am shocked by the rejection of Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim’s motion on the ridiculous ground that it was submitted too early, when it was fully in conformity with the decree of the Yang Di Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Rulers special meeting, especially as there is no provision for debate and vote on the Emergency Proclamation and Ordinances in the Parliament special meeting.
I am also shocked by the rejection of the motions of DAP MP for Bruas and former Perak State Assembly Speaker, Ngeh Koo Ham, when his motions are to fulfil the decree of the Yang di Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Rulers special meeting as well as Article 150 of the Constitutioh.
Article 150 (3) stipulates:
“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 prejudice 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 promulgate any ordinance under Clause (2B).”
The Speaker should not frustrate the operation of Article 150 (3) of the Constitution, and priority should be given to any motion to annul the Emergency Proclamation and Ordinances, as the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders, as a subsidiary regulation, should NOT be used to frustrate Parliament’s Constitutional role to provide a supervisory function over the Executive’s emergency powers.
The Speaker should not be a party to any unconstitutional Executive attempt to use the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders to disable Parliament from exercising its constitutional functions set out in Article 150(3) of the Constitution.
The five-day Parliament special meeting starting tomorrow must meet two objectives:
- firstly, fulfil the decree of the Yang di Pertuan Agong and Conference of Rulers special meeting of June 16 for Parliament to debate and vote on the Emergency Proclamation, the Emergency Ordinances and the National Recovery Plan; and
- secondly, to make a difference in the losing war against the Covid-19 pandemic, where Malaysia has become one the world’s worst performing nations, by adopting a new policy and strategy of “Live with Covid” instead of “Zero Covid” and to distance from the present blind-faith on total lockdowns.
This is the supreme test for the Speaker of Parliament.
At stake is not the life of the Speaker of Parliament but his principles.