Cabinet meeting cancelled as PM taken ill

PUTRAJAYA, June 30 – A Cabinet meeting scheduled today has been cancelled with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin having been admitted to a hospital following a stomach ache.

The Prime Minister’s Office in a statement said the prime minister has been suffering from a diarrhoea since yesterday and that he had been admitted to a hospital for treatment and monitoring.

On Tuesday, Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-​Mustafa Billah Shah once again made the call for a quick reconvening of the Parliament to enable the presentation of the Emergency declaration and Emergency laws.

The King had earlier granted audience to Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun for a meeting that also involved the attendance of Deputy Dewan Negara Speaker Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad, and Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speakers Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Following this, Istana Negara’s Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin issued a statement saying that the King had called for the Parliament to reconvene as quickly as possible to enable the tabling of the Proclamation of Emergency and Emergency Ordinances as provided for in Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution.

The King was also of the view that all Parliament select committees should continue their sessions to keep intact the checks and balances to ensure transparency in the administration of the country, especially in tackling issues of public policy and social and financial affairs.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Member Parliament of Ipoh Timur Wong Kah Woh, who is also the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) issued a statement urging the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to give the greenlight to PAC and the Select Committees to restart their sessions.

He said there was no reason why the PAC and the Select Committees should not meet considering that the special steering committee set up to look into a hybrid Parliament session has been scheduled to meet on July 5th.

The PAC and Select Committees have not had any meetings since the declaration of Emergency on January 12.

Wong said on the first day of the Emergency implementation, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker had given the assurance that the Malaysian Parliament will continue to carry out its functions of check and balance with the existing Select Committees.

This stand was changed later and the Speaker said the PAC and Select Committees cannot meet including virtually so long as the Parliament is suspended.

This has disabled the PAC and the Select Committees from carrying out their functions from January 12.

He said in terms of compliance with the health standard operating procedures, the Parliament had sufficient facilities with enough meeting rooms for the committees to meet with their capacities to facilitate a group of 65 under normal conditions and 30 if keeping with with Health SOPs.

The PAC has also followed all health SOPs set from November 2020 in all its meetings and procedures, and the PAC Secretariat had ensured the compliance with all SOPs by limiting the number of attendees whether from the secretariat or officials from relevant ministries for any proceedings.

He suggested that the PAC and the Select Committees should be able to attend the meetings in keeping with the SOPs while waiting for the hybrid sessions to take place.

There is a need for the PAC to carry out its work and resolve cases that have been presented by the PAC in Parliament earlier, as well as the assessment of the latest Auditor General Report and review of the government expenditure in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic.