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Election: Jerlun MP proposes amendment to Federal Constitution

18 Nov 2020 / 20:47 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Jerlun Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (pix) today proposed that Article 55(3) of the Federal Constitution on the dissolution of Parliament be amended to allow the government to postpone an election for the people’s safety and health concerns.

The representative from Pejuang said a motion would be submitted officially to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker as the matter is definite, urgent and of public interest.

“As the country is being hit by a pandemic that threatens the lives of the people, Jerlun would like to propose an amendment to Article 55(3) of the Federal Constitution regarding the dissolution of Parliament to be made under Standing Order 18, to be read together with Standing Order 14 in the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat.

“The purpose of this motion is to allow the government to postpone an election on the grounds of public safety or health until the threat is over,” he said when debating on the Supply Bill 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said the amendment was crucial as the current law required an election be held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and some government representatives were saying that the situation could only be avoided by declaring a state of emergency.

Mukhriz also suggested that the government bloc supports the amendment motion.

Article 55(3) of the Federal Constitution on the summoning, prorogation and dissolution of Parliament states: Parliament unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting and shall then stand dissolved.

Mukhriz said although the amendment required a two-third majority of the Dewan Rakyat and Senate, he believed the government also wanted to ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic was addressed properly and not used to play politics.

“So, the government has to support this amendment proposal. In fact, it is better if the government itself draft a motion to be tabled in this august house.

“I am very confident that if there is strong political will among all parties, why shouldn’t the Federal Constitution be amended to save the people from threats such as Covid-19?” he said. — Bernama

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