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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said today thanked the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after the monarch’s statement asserting that Parliament can sit during the current state of Emergency after the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government suspended its operations.
“Ampun Tuanku, thank you for being a constant Protector of the People & Guardian of our Constitution.
“The Hansard back in 1959 records how the then YDPA in His Majesty’s first ever Speech of the Throne expounds Parliament’s essence in the following terms,” she said, sharing the excerpt of the document.
Ampun Tuanku, thank you for being a constant Protector of the People & Guardian of our Constitution.
— Azalina Othman Said (@AzalinaOthmanS) February 25, 2021
The Pengerang MP and trained lawyer took to Twitter to express her gratitude over the Agong’s statement, issued through the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin yesterday.
The statement was issued yesterday, after the King granted an audience to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Seri Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Rais Yatim.
In the statement, Sultan Abdullah said Parliament could reconvene even during the Emergency upon the advice of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
There have been several suits filed in court challenging the PN government’s decision to suspend Parliament during the Emergency.
Outside the court, other lawmakers allied with the ruling PN, including Azalina, had openly criticised Parliament’s suspension.
She penned a letter earlier this month addressed to Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun criticising his advice to the PN government, saying he should have offered suggestions to enable Parliament to sit during the Emergency that was called purportedly to combat the health and economic crises brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Azalina pointed out that many other governments in countries with worse Covid-19 cases than Malaysia’s had continued with parliamentary sittings, and cited the UK as an example.