Revocation of Emergency Ordinances According to Law, Federal Constitution

KUALA LUMPUR: All decisions taken by the government on the revocation of the Emergency ordinances were orderly and in line with the law and the Federal Constitution, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

In a statement, the PMO said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stressed that in carrying out his duties and responsibilities, it was important for him to act in accordance with the law and the constitution. 

“The Prime Minister had also informed the government’s view that the Emergency Ordinances do not need to be annulled by Parliament as the Cabinet had already advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke them. 

“Besides this, the ongoing Parliament session is a Special Sitting under Standing Order 11 (3) of the Dewan Rakyat, and the agenda is ministerial briefings with no motion to annul the Emergency ordinances,” the statement said. 

The Cabinet had agreed to advise Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to revoke the Emergency ordinances before the Special Sitting of the Parliament convened, the statement read.

Taking note of Al-Sultan Abdullah’s decree in a statement issued by Istana Negara today in which His Majesty expressed disappointment over the announcement made in Parliament on July 26, the PMO clarified that Al-Sultan Abdullah shall accept and act in accordance with the Cabinet’s advice, as stipulated under Article 40 of the Federal Constitution. 

Article 40 (1) cites: In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution; but shall be entitled, at his request, to any information concerning the government of the Federation which is available to the Cabinet.

Article 40 (1A), meanwhile cites: In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law, where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is to act in accordance with advice, on advice, or after considering advice, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall accept and act in accordance with such advice.

According to the PMO, on July 23, the Prime Minister had written to Al-Sultan Abdullah to inform about the Cabinet’s advice for the Emergency ordinances to be revoked and to obtain His Majesty’s consent. 

Following this, on July 24, Al-Sultan Abdullah had summoned Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun for an audience for a more detailed explanation for the revocation of the ordinances.

Therefore, when the Special Sitting of Parliament convened on July 26, all of the Emergency ordinances were laid before the Dewan Rakyat, in line with Article 150 (3) of the Federal Constitution. 

“However, the Opposition MPs had urged the Dewan Rakyat to annul the Emergency ordinances promulgated by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“Following this, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) as the minister responsible for legal matters had informed Dewan Rakyat members that the government, hereby the Cabinet, had made the decision to revoke the Emergency ordinances,” the PMO statement said. 

This announcement, however, raised various questions regarding the status of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent pertaining to the revocation, it said. 

The PMO said the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General sought an audience with His Majesty at noon on July 27 to explain the situation. 

“During the audience, the Prime Minister once again provided the advice of the Cabinet on the revocation of the Emergency ordinances as well as clarified the confusion attempted to be raised by the Opposition in the Parliament sitting,” the statement read. 

The Parliament session this week was a Special Sitting held under Standing Order 11 (3) of the Dewan Rakyat with ministerial briefings and no motions to discuss the Emergency ordinances.

According to the PMO, in preparation for the Special Sitting, the Cabinet on July 21 held a discussion and took a stance that it would not advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare a fresh emergency once the current one ends on Aug 1. 

Besides this, due to the Emergency not being extended, all Emergency ordinances promuglated throughout the Emergency period are effectively revoked. 

“Following these, the Prime Minister’s Office on July 22, 2021 received the draft of the Emergency Ordinance (Annulment) 2021 prepared by the Attorney-General’s Chambers. This ordinance provides for all Emergency ordinances promulgated by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to be revoked effective July 21, 2021,” the statement read. 

As such, the Prime Minister advised the people to remain calm, saying that the issue will be resolved according to provisions of the law and the Constitution, the PMO said.