Saturday, July 31, 2021

EMERGENCY may need to be continued (or re-proclaimed later) as the PN-BN Plus failed in many aspects?..Emergency Ordinance live on for 6 month after Emergency ends unless...

When an EMERGENCY is proclaimed, then the government has the capacity vide Emergency Ordinances to make speedy changes of the existing law that is required to deal with such a public health emergency. In fact, the PN-BN Plus government could have already made the needed amendments since March 2020, when the Covid-19 Pandemic started but sadly, they failed to do so....

Some examples of law changes needed:-

1 - Parliament Sitting and Functioning - laws should have been put in place that allowed for the continued safe operation of Parliament, including its various different committees ONLINE without requiring actual physical presence in the Parliament building.  

2 - Elections and By-Elections - As it is the law, stipulates within how many days elections must be held. There is NO provision in law that empowers the Election Commission or anyone to delay the date of elections. Law amendments needed to empower the delaying of Elections by reason of pandemics/health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. The PN-BN Plus government could have tabled the needed amendments since 2020 before the Emergency Declared, and even tabled needed law amendments now in this Parliamentary sitting but they failed to date. Hence, the Emergency Ordinances still have to be relied on. Election laws also may need to be amended to allow voting over several days, allow voters out of constituency in Malaysia to vote where they are without having to come back to to their constituencies to vote, increasing campaign periods to not less than 30 days - longer period needed for postal ballot to reach voters overseas,etc and for them to post back their votes. During this pandemic, postal services are disrupted. I have not even received letters that the Court allegedly send me several weeks ago. Of court, the Election Commission ought to be given power of investigation and prosecution of election offences...

3 - Government need to acquire or use of resources, venues and staff of the private sector(plus State/Local Government) to combat the pandemic. This law would stipulate also the rate the private owner will be paid for the use of their venue, for example. That rate must be not the usual rates during this Emergency - but minimal rate just to cover cost. Now privately owned venues are being used for vaccinations - but how much are the private owners being paid. PWTC is being used, if not mistaken, it is owned by UMNO, - so how much are they being paid. How much is the Federal Government responsible for health paying not just private owners, but also State and/or Local Government for the use of these premises. The government could have used schools and government facilities for FREE. Sadly, the Emergency Ordinances seem to have failed to state the rate of payment - so, this government may end up paying usual rates to these private facilities - a waste of monies. Here again, we may need a law to deal with this - not simply the ability to use resources but also the minimal rates of payment or whether FREE. 

4.    MORATORIUM OF LOAN PAYMENTS - is there any law that allows for this? Remember, the consumer is bound by CONTRACTS and unless the government by law varies the contract, there will be future problem. Contracts cannot be varied by policy or request - it needs a law. When the moratorium ends, will we have to pay LUMP SUM all payments delayed by moratorium? Was the delay caused interest to continue to be charged? Will after the Moratorium, the rate of monthly payment be increased? Remember, most families simply may not have the extra cash to pay a higher amount of their monthly loan obligations. Again, this problem could have been properly dealt with by Emergency Ordinance or laws now to deal with this problem. 

5.   Workers - the law need to be amended to provide for maybe 14 paid Covid-19  leave at least, applicable to all workers not just those earning less than RM2,000. This is used when workers are subject to quarantine, cannot go to work because live in area under PKPD, when they go for vaccination, when they are hospitalized(or asked to stay home) when infected. - Sadly, the PN_BN Plus did not deal with this important point. Then, there is the issue of the daily-paid, when they are in fact working every day similar to monthly paid workers. For the daily paid, they get paid just on the days they come to work > really, this daily paid workers system must be abolished to replace it with monthly paid (hence clearly they also then will be able to enjoy paid rest days, paid public holidays, etc...)

6.    The violations of SOP is NOT an offence - unless the law states so, but the law does not make violation of SOP a crime. Many actions that the government is taking because one violates a SOP may be 'ILLEGAL'. It has been pointed out that the Minister under most laws including the Malaysia's Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, has the power to make Regulations(law) which can create offences, and even stipulate sentences. This is what should have been done - not SOPs or Guidelines. The people have been 'hood-winked' by all these talk about actions like even closing down business premises because they violated some SOP. 

UNLIKE normal laws, Emergency Ordinances can 'super laws' - it can even be in violation of the Federal Constitution and other existing laws. Art 150(6) do talk about this '...while a Proclamation of Emergency is in force, Parliament may, notwithstanding anything in this Constitution make laws with respect to any matter,...'  

(5) Subject to Clause (6A), while a Proclamation of Emergency is in force, Parliament may, notwithstanding anything in this Constitution make laws with respect to any matter, if it appears to Parliament that the law is required by reason of the emergency; and Article 79 shall not apply to a Bill for such a law or an amendment to such a Bill, nor shall any provision of this Constitution or of any written law which requires any consent or concurrence to the passing of a law or any consultation with respect thereto, or which restricts the coming into force of a law after it is passed or the presentation of a Bill to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his assent.

(6) Subject to Clause (6A), no provision of any ordinance promulgated under this Article, and no provision of any Act of Parliament which is passed while a Proclamation of Emergency is in force and which declares that the law appears to Parliament to be required by reason of the emergency, shall be invalid on the ground of inconsistency with any provision of this Constitution.

Of course, we expect our government to be made up of "GOOD" people who will not abuse these powers for wrong purposes - but simply because it is 'required by reason of the emergency...' 

During this pandemic, we all know that our laws have so many flaws - and we had little choice by declare an Emergency and thereafter needed ordinances to allow by-elections to be postponed, to allow the government to be able to use facilities, resources owned by others, etc 

Of course, there is no justification to suspend Parliament or State Legislative Assemblies - laws should have been put in place so that online meetings of Parliament can be held. Look around you - everyone is meeting and even having AGMs and Congresses Online - so, why can't Parliament do the same - but then, the PN-BN Plus government failed to make Emergency Ordinances before this to facilitate this...or even tabled Ordinances/Acts of Parliament at the start of this session.

Covid-19 was used to suspend Parliament - and on Thursday, again it was used to adjourn..and adjourn...and adjourn. Many believe Covid-19 may again be used for Parliament not to sit on coming Monday..

So, at the end of the day, I believe that EMERGENCY need to be continued beyond 1/8/2021 by reason of the failings of the PN-BN Plus government to do something about the needed amendment to the Constitution, laws or new laws - which all could have been tabled in Parliament this week, and passed in a couple of days...

There is a misconception that EMERGENCY ORDINANCES will automatically cease to have effect when EMERGENCY ends - Not true. Emergency Ordinance live on for a further 6 months

150 (7) At the expiration of a period of six months beginning with the date on which a Proclamation of Emergency ceases to be in force, any ordinance promulgated in pursuance of the Proclamation and, to the extent that it could not have been validly made but for this Article, any law made while the Proclamation was in force, shall cease to have effect, except as to things done or omitted to be done before the expiration of that period.

Why 6 months? Well, it is time for Parliament to make needed laws that may be needed before the Ordinance lapses... 

Of course, the Emergency Ordinances could easily be revoked before that 6 months if Parliament elects to ANNUL these Ordinance by Resolution..

OR The said Emergency Ordinances had before Parliament sat was REVOKED - and this revocation would be by an Emergency Ordinance that repeals all previous Emergency Ordinances. As we know, the Cabinet wanted to do this, but the King did not yet assent to it or proclaim it before Parliament sat..

So, EMERGENCY need to be continued to make speedy new 'special laws' to deal with this Covid-19 emergency...which the PN-BN Plus government has yet to put in place...

If the PN-BN Plus government had enacted the needed ordinances, then no need for the continuation of an EMERGENCY as the Emergency Ordinances live on for 6 months and so there is time to put in needed laws in place within this time..

Maybe EMERGENCY should continue, so that at least by another Emergency Ordinance, those BAD aspects of the earlier Emergency Ordinances could be effectively removed...

We will discuss this further at a later time...

In fact, just saw that the DECISION of whether EMERGENCY should continue or not should be left to the Parliament...

But, the problem is that this EMERGENCY ends on 1/8/2021, and Parliament sits on 2/8/2021..

So, Emergency can END - for after all, the Emergency Ordinances live on for 6 months...

BUT, Parliament must HURRIEDLY SIT maybe the following week, to determine whether EMERGENCY ought to be proclaimed again - simply to clean up the mess of the PN-BN Plus Cabinet...

If Muhyiddin has lost his majority, or resigns himself, the King can quickly appoint another PM and life goes on.. 

See earlier post:-

An apology by Muhyiddin/Takiyuddin would have sufficed - BUT what happened and where is this going?

ALL Emergency Ordinances repealed - a foolish move that will jeopardize us? EOs allowed government to do certain things but now how?

Parliament - Laws so Parliament can function virtually - not HYBRID? UMRAH? Hagia Sophia? Different Quarantine Requirements?


Chong: Parliament should determine whether Emergency to continue

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING (July 30): Parliament should determine whether or not to lift or extend the Emergency, said Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chief Chong Chieng Jen.

He said this is because Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had decided for the government to return to Parliament to arrive at a decision on the matter, which should not be up to the Cabinet.

“In fact, the King has decided. His decision is for the government to return to Parliament for the determination of whether to extend or revoke the Emergency Ordinances (EO).

“What the de facto law minister (Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan) and the Cabinet did is a blatant disregard for the decree of the King to have the question whether the EO ought to be extended or otherwise posed and voted in the Dewan Rakyat,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post.

The national state of Emergency, which was imposed early this year, is scheduled to end on Sunday.

Chong, who is Stampin MP and currently in Kuala Lumpur, expects to attend the Parliament sitting on Monday.

He said the King’s decree is in line with the basic principle of Parliamentary democracy and regretted that the Cabinet had gone against this.

The DAP lawmaker opined the Cabinet had not only gone against the King but also infringed the Federal Constitution and the fundamental principle of Parliamentary democracy.

“The whole purpose of the King making the decree is that the government has failed the people in its handing of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That alone, the Cabinet must resign and allow the King to appoint a new prime minister to take over the job of fighting the pandemic,” Chong claimed.

In a statement yesterday, Sultan Abdullah said he was “deeply saddened” by Takiyuddin’s assertion in Parliament that the EO had been revoked.

The King added that the minister’s remarks had confused Parliament, and that the announcement was “not accurate”.

His statement was met with calls for Takiyuddin’s resignation as well as for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to step down as prime minister. - Borneo Post, 30/7/2021



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