Penang Speaker: NSC says state assembly can’t meet as Emergency still in effect

Penang Speaker: NSC says state assembly can’t meet as Emergency still in effect

A general view of the Penang Legislative Assembly building in George Town April 25, 2019. — Picture by Steven KE Ooi
A general view of the Penang Legislative Assembly building in George Town April 25, 2019. — Picture by Steven KE Ooi

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GEORGE TOWN, June 11 ― The Penang state legislative assembly’s application to convene a meeting in June was rejected by the National Security Council (NSC), said Datuk Law Choo Kiang.

The Penang Speaker said the NSC stated that the Emergency Ordinance is still in force so it is still not a suitable time for the assembly to convene.

The NSC also pointed at the high number of Covid-19 cases in the country and stressed that any activity that involved mass gatherings should be avoided at this time. 

“I hope the Emergency Ordinance will be lifted soon so that the state legislative assembly can resume its function as specified in the state constitution,” he said.

He said the first meeting of the fourth term of the 14th legislative assembly needs to convene as soon as the Emergency Ordinance is lifted.

Law said he had officially written to NSC on April 23 to hold the legislative assembly during the state of emergency.

He had submitted the application after obtaining legal views from the Attorney General’s Chambers through the state legal advisor.

“In my application letter, I stated our intention to hold the legislative assembly in June to approve a motion allowing candidates for the general elections to be aged 18 years and a few other motions,” he said.

He said the NSC sent its written reply, dated May 20, rejecting the application after it had discussed the application in detail at the NSC emergency conference and emergency ordinance technical committee meeting. 

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