Malaysia’s king lashed out at Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan today for telling lawmakers on Monday that his royal highness had given permission to revoke the six emergency ordinances.
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said it was “inaccurate” of Takiyuddin to say such a thing when lawmakers gathered for the first time in Parliament on Monday, more than a month after the king ordered sittings to resume. The king also accused the government of “hastily” revoking the ordinances by backdating them to July 21 and without bringing them up in Parliament.
“To this, His Majesty expresses great sorrow over the statement made on July 26 that the government has revoked all emergency ordinances promulgated by His Majesty, although the revocation has not yet been given royal assent,” a statement issued by the palace said.
The king then accused the government of disregarding “his Majesty’s functions and powers as the head of state, as enshrined in the federal constitution.”
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim read out portions of today’s statement in parliament, prompting shouts from other MPs calling on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign and that Takiyuddin is referred to the Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee for possible disciplinary action. A break was called after that.
The six ordinances were imposed by the government earlier this year using emergency powers it was granted by the king in January to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. The ordinances allowed the government to control the spread of misinformation, enjoy new powers, and amend existing laws.
The king’s statement unleashed criticisms from Malaysians, many of whom reacted with their usual sarcasm.
Someone named Ainulhizad said: “Hoping with this, Malaysians will realize that the so-called Malay-Muslim political party has never cared about the people or country. They only care about themselves and their political party remaining in power. They play with sentiments to maintain power. Wake up, Malaysia.”
Sharing a GIF of German Judoka Olympian Martyna Tradjos hyping up before a match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Twitter user Manz said: “Law Minister to apply this technique before resuming today’s session. Pretty sure!!”
Social media user Wayne Enrique said: “Pengkhianat! (Traitor!) Derhaka! (Treachery!) TRAITORS! THE WHOLE LOT OF YOU! THIS IS TREACHERY! You guys have disgrace the dignity of your office and seat by lying to the nation and going against the king! RESIGN! #KerajaanDerhaka”
COVID-19 cases and deaths have not gone down after six months of being under the state of emergency, which will expire on Aug. 1.
Malaysia has been recording tens of thousands of new cases each day, with some hospitals running out of beds.