Malaysia's government to reconvene Parliament before Aug 1

Published Sat, Jul 3, 2021 · 05:50 AM

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA'S Parliament will reconvene before Aug 1, a minister said on Friday, just days after the king repeated his call for Parliament to meet to discuss steps that have been taken to deal with the health and economic crises caused by Covid-19.

The date will be decided at the next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Takiyuddin Hassan, the minister in charge of Parliament and Law, said in a statement.

Malaysian opposition leaders had urged all 220 MPs to head to Parliament on July 19 if Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin remains silent on reopening the legislative assembly.

Mr Muhyiddin has until Monday to make an announcement on the matter, Anwar Ibrahim, Mohamad Sabu and Lim Guan Eng said in a statement on Friday. The ultimatum comes days after the two house speakers said the king wanted Parliament to reconvene before Aug 1.

"If the prime minister and his ministers insist on their treason toward His Majesty and the Malay rulers, then they are responsible for triggering a constitutional crisis," they said.

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The trio lead Pakatan Harapan, or the Alliance of Hope coalition, which is the main opposition bloc in Parliament.

Mr Muhyiddin had announced a state of emergency in January to control the spread of the outbreak. The emergency allowed him to suspend Parliament all year and enact laws without legislative approval. That also meant no snap polls could be called during that period.

Mr Muhyiddin had initially planned to reopen Parliament in September at the earliest, citing the high Covid cases. The virus' effective reproduction rate, or R-naught, has remained above 1.0 since Monday, prompting the government on Thursday to tighten movements curbs in most of Selangor, its richest state, as well as several localities in Kuala Lumpur.

The curbs are on top of the nationwide lockdown that began June 1, after new infections exceeded a record 9,000 by end-May.

The country counted 6,982 new cases on Friday, way above the 4,000-level the government has set for easing the restrictions. REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

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