Opposition caught with its pants down


The entire nation is in an uproar!

Not because of what the Government did or has done but by what the nation witnessed on live television. MPs on the Opposition bench hurled insults, shouted invectives, and indignantly insisted on debating technicalities with an astute and learned Speaker who aptly demonstrated he knows the law, the Constitution, and the Standing Orders far better than any Opposition MP in the House this morning. What a fiasco!

What a shame too. In broad daylight, on live TV and for all to see, the Opposition showed us all how inept, ineffectual, and completely useless they are in championing the plight of the common man and woman in Parliament. Instead of offering real solutions, they shrieked like wild monkeys in a zoo. So entirely shameful.

It would seem apparent that this was their only strategy – to cast doubt through dubious technicalities on the invoking of Emergency. All that talk of convening Parliament to debate the pandemic was just a ruse. The baboons were only interested in screeching, “Point of Order! Point of Order!”

But the double whammy punchline from the Government bench came when the law minister announced TWO major matters:

1. That the ordinances enacted during and under the Emergency have been revoked as of 21st July, and,
2. That the Prime Minister would not advise the Agong to extend the Emergency.

If ever there was a moment of being caught with your pants down, this was it! The Opposition MPs were stumped! The look of disbelief on their faces was enjoyably delicious! Suddenly, the wind was taken out of their sails. They were in total and utter disarray! I’m certain these words flashed across Anwar’s mind: “SHIT! Now what? What we came here to fight has just vaporised into thin air!”

They, however, quickly regrouped and began grilling the Government as to why it was not going to extend the Emergency! I mean, HELLO. Up until this morning, every single Opposition MP questioned the need for the Emergency. And when the Government said it would not extend the Emergency, the Opposition made an about turn and started attacking that too! Confused? There you go. The hypocrisy was crystal clear on live TV.

But what I want to address tonight is the matter of the announcement by the law minister. Again, the public has been misled by the Opposition and their supporters.

Let us be clear. The Emergency and ordinances enacted under the Emergency are not one and the same. The Emergency is a state of being; invoked by Article 150 of the Constitution. Ordinances are laws made during the Emergency and by the agency of being under an Emergency.

These ordinances made under the Emergency were revoked on the 21st of July. In other words, they were annulled, rescinded, withdrawn, cancelled, and invalidated. As far as I can recall, there were five ordinances:

1. Ordinan Darurat (Kuasa-Kuasa Perlu) 2021;
2. Ordinan Darurat (Kumpulan Wang Amanah Negara) (pindaan) 2021;
3. Ordinan Darurat (Kehadiran Wajib Pesalah-Pesalah) (pindaan) 2021;
4. Ordinan Darurat (Pencegahan dan Pengawalan Penyakit Berjangkit) (pindaan) 2021;
5. Ordinan Darurat (Standard Minimum Perumahan, Penginapan dan Kemudahan Pekerja)(pindaan) 2021.

All these five laws were rendered ineffective on the 21st of July. They ceased to have any effect after the 21st of July.

Clear so far?

Now, the Emergency.

The Emergency is still in force. It is still operating. We are still living under the Emergency. It will expire on the 1st of August because the law minister announced that the PM will not advise the Agong to extend the Emergency. The Emergency was not revoked on the 21st of July. The five ordinances or laws were. The Emergency, however, will not be extended beyond the 1st of August.

Now do you see the difference?

Our dear Gobind Singh Deo conflated the Emergency with the revocation of the ordinances and made everyone confused when he stood up in the House to say that Article 150 (3) of the Constitution only allows for the Agong or Parliament to revoke the ordinances. Is that what Article 150 (3) says? Let’s have a read:

150 (3): A Proclamation of Emergency and any ordinance promulgated under Clause (2B) shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and, if not sooner revoked, shall cease to have effect if resolutions are passed by both Houses annulling such Proclamation or ordinance, but without prejudice to anything previously done by virtue thereof or to the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to issue a new Proclamation under Clause (1) or promulgate any ordinance under Clause (2B).


Note the four magnificently operative words in the article: IF NOT SOONER REVOKED. It means that IF the Government, which enacted these ordinances in the first place, did not withdraw or cancel or annul or rescind or revoke them, they would still be in operation and Parliament or the Agong may then decide to withdraw or cancel or annul or rescind or revoke them. But when the Government has already revoked them, then there is no need for these ordinances to be brought to Parliament or the Palace because they have ceased to operate or exist.

I repeat: The ordinances are laws. The Emergency is a condition we live under. The former have been revoked. The latter will not be extended.

Clear now?

Then you ask, “Why were we not informed on the 21st of July?” Firstly, there is no provision to say that such revocation must be announced immediately. Secondly, dear reader, look again at the ordinances. Would you even know what they are, let alone care if the PMO issued a statement on the 21st of July saying these dreadfully technical laws were cancelled? I bet you did not even know they existed until today! Thirdly, the Government gazette, which takes time to be updated, will eventually publish them, as a matter of public notice. So what’s all the fuss about gazetting the revocation?

Now, back to Gobind. The question arises: Did Gobind intentionally and mischievously conflate the state of Emergency with the ordinances to bluff the public, or did he bungle a colossal blunder? I don’t know. So, either Gobind is a dishonest MP or he is just plain stupid. A plain stupid lawyer who can’t even read the Constitution properly. You decide.

To round off this evening’s bulletin, allow me to simplify it all. What really happened today in Parliament, dear reader, was that, once again, Muhyiddin Yassin outplayed the Opposition and exposed them for the blundering buffoons they really are.

Dave Letterman
Coffee connoisseur, retired loyar burok and unaccredited political analyst