Ahead of next week’s royal meeting, Law Minister says Cabinet to advice Agong on whether to extend Emergency

Muhyiddin chairing the Cabinet meeting in a file photo – Bernama

THE Cabinet will advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on whether the Emergency which is scheduled to end on August 1, should be extended, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said today.

Clarifying media reports that only the King had the discretion on whether to extend the emergency, Takiyuddin said the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong had acted on the advice of the Cabinet when the Emergency was declared in January.

“As such, the question of whether the emergency will end on said date (Aug 1) or not at the discretion of his majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as was raised, should not have arisen,” he said in a statement today.

“It is the cabinet’s responsibility to continue advising the king, as the head of state, regarding the terms of the emergency.

“This will be done after taking into account all current conditions and related factors including public safety, social aspects, and the national economy,” he added.

Takiyuddin was commenting on Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s statement that once the emergency was lifted, three by-elections and the Sarawak state election would be held. Dr Noor Hisham was also quoted as saying that only the King had the discretion on whether to end the Emergency proclamation.

The Emergency was declared in January purportedly to enable the Federal government to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Conference of Rulers will meet next Wednesday to discuss the country’s progress in combating Covid-19. There’s also speculations that the nine Malay Rulers will also deliberate on whether the Emergency should end on Aug 1 or be extended.

The meeting came following the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong’s one-on-one meeting with top political leaders this week to gather feedback on current affairs, especially on Covid-19.