DAP slams Umno for disrespecting Agong, federal constitution

(The Vibes) – DAP has slammed the Umno Supreme Council for disrespecting the discretionary powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the federal constitution relating to the dissolution of Parliament.

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said never in the country’s history was a public statement made before a prime minister seeks Agong’s consent to dissolve Parliament.

“Umno must be reminded that it only has 38 Dewan Rakyat members or 17% of the total 222 seats. The party cannot be allowed to act as if it is a majority party in Parliament,” he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, referring to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan’s statement, Loke said it is as if the Umno Supreme Council has placed pre-conditions on the Agong without taking into account Articles 40(1) and 40(2) of the federal constitution.

Last night, Ahmad, when reading out the statement, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob would present a suitable date to the Agong to dissolve Parliament and pave the way for a general election to be held this year.

“The dissolution of Parliament must be held soon, to allow the 15th general election to be held within this year. Based on this decision, the prime minister will present a date for dissolution to the king in line with Article 40 of the federal constitution.”

Ahmad did not take any questions from the press for clarification after immediately reading out his statement.

However, Loke said among the discretionary powers accorded to the Agong in Article 40(2), the head of state has the right to not consent to the dissolution of Parliament.

He reiterated that DAP will continue to respect the Agong’s decision on the matter, in line with the provisions of the federal constitution.

“DAP trusts that the Agong will exercise his discretion and wisdom to make the best decision for the interest of the people and the country.”

DAP Youth chief Dr Kelvin Yii also slammed Umno for its statement, saying the attempt to force an election this year is not only arrogant, but “highly irresponsible” as an election during the monsoon season will forsake the interest of those going to be affected by the floods.

“Countries including the US, Germany, Pakistan, South Korea, and China experienced severe weather like never before. Climate scientists have warned that due to the effects of climate change, we may see more severe weather this year onwards.

“The Election Commission even said if GE15 is going to be held during the monsoon season, it may cost up to RM 1.2 billion, double of what it cost to conduct the 2018 general election,” he said in a statement today.

“That is why I call all parties in government to stop such madness and prioritise the lives of the people now as such decisions normally have to go through cabinet as well.”

Recently, the Meteorological Department said heavy rain and thunderstorms could be expected from October to November as the country moves through the monsoon transition phase following the end of the southwest monsoon period.

The country is expected to experience weak winds from all directions, conducive to thunderstorms that usually bring heavy rain and strong winds in a short period of time.

As for DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago, he is calling for an end to politicking and to focus solely on mitigating the monsoon floods, while referring to his constituency that was devastated last December.

“Fixing a date for a general election next year will mitigate the almost free fall of the ringgit and a sliding economy. The government doesn’t have to hold polls this year to prove anything. So, don’t use it as an excuse because we are no fools.

“It’s a shame if Ismail Sabri has to finally succumb to pressure from Umno. An election this year signals a desperate Umno and ‘court cluster’ leaders who want to manipulate the system to not be found guilty,” he said in a Twitter thread today.

The term “court cluster” used is referring to several Umno leaders who are facing criminal charges, mostly linked to corruption.