Malaysia’s King says Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible

He says this will let MPs debate emergency laws, coronavirus recovery plan

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's King said yesterday that the country's Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible, to allow emergency ordinances and a coronavirus recovery plan to be debated by lawmakers.

"His Majesty expresses his opinion that Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible," the palace statement said, adding that he had heard the views of politicians and experts.

"This will allow for debate by Members of Parliament on the emergency laws and the national recovery plan".

"His Majesty also expresses his hope that the Covid-19 infection curve could be flattened quickly..." it added.

Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah's views about Parliament come a day after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Parliament could reopen by September at the earliest, if the average number of daily infections fall below 2,000.

Parliament was suspended in January after the King declared a national emergency on Mr Muhyiddin's advice. The opposition said it was an attempt by the premier to shore up his position amid a leadership challenge.

The King in a statement yesterday said Parliament plays a vital role in discussing steps taken to deal with the health and economic crises caused by the virus.

He also stressed on the need for a "stable and secure government administration" capable of effectively handling the epidemic and restoring the economy. To this end, the government needs to ease bureaucracy and speed up vaccinations to ensure the country reaches herd immunity as soon as possible, as vaccination is the sole "exit strategy" from the epidemic.

In a separate statement, the nine-member Conference of Rulers - which includes the King - said it does not see a need for the emergency to be extended beyond its Aug 1 expiry date.

The conference echoed the King's view on the need for a stable and secure government and said that all efforts must be made to secure as much public support for inclusive measures to manage Covid-19.

Malaysia reported 5,150 cases yesterday, taking the total to 673,026. There were 73 deaths, taking the toll to 4,142. - REUTERS, THE STRAITS TIMES, THE STAR