PETALING JAYA: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said if police can insist on recording his statement during the movement control order (MCO) and emergency, there is no reason not to allow Parliament to function normally.
Lim said Parliament was able to operate normally during the past four emergencies, and it was Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s mistake for suspending it now.
He reiterated his party’s support for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s petition to lift the suspension.
Lim, the former finance minister and Bagan MP, was summoned to the northeast district police headquarters in Penang yesterday over remarks he made in two press releases in 2019.
He questioned why police had decided to take his statement while Penang was under the MCO.
In a statement, he said he was under investigation under Sections 504 and 505(c) of the Penal Code.
Section 504 deals with intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or provocation that will cause a person to break public peace.
Section 505 (c) revolves around any statement with intent to incite or which is likely to incite any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community of persons.
“I hope police can also take statements from the PAS and PN leadership as well. Many police reports have been lodged against them over controversial remarks,” he said.
‘Allow legislative branch of government to function’
A PKR MP and an Umno Supreme Council member also urged the government to allow the legislative branch of the government to function during the emergency, citing Article 150(3) and Clause (2a) of the Federal Constitution.
Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and Puad Zarkashi said the article and clause demand that the proclamation of emergency and any ordinances to be tabled in both the upper and lower houses of Parliament as soon as possible.
Maria said precedence had been set as Parliament still sat during other emergency periods from 1971 to 2021.
“The only time that Parliament was ever suspended was from 1969 to 1971 because the National Operations Council was set up to run the country,” she said in a statement, referring to the aftermath of the May 1969 incident.
She said failure to allow Parliament to sit would further prove that the emergency was politically motivated and to guarantee the tenure of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet.
“It also means that they escape the possibility of a vote of no confidence as we witness more and more government-friendly MPs severing support for the Perikatan Nasional government.
“For the sake of saving our country, it makes sense to convene Parliament and state assemblies to allow for in-depth discussions on how to deal with our ailing economy, the pandemic and the social security of our citizens,” she said.
Puad said Parliament sittings could be held virtually if needed, and asked whether Malaysia was too backward to do so.
In a Facebook post, he said the matter could be brought to court and turned into a serious constitutional crisis if the government continued to reject calls for Parliament to convene.