PETALING JAYA: Lawyers have disagreed with Umno’s Annuar Musa claims of treason during the emergency, calling out the Federal Territories minister for his bias.
Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said MPs have the right to call for a parliamentary sitting even if an emergency is in force.
He said this was laid clearly under Article 153 (3) which indicates that the proclamation of emergency and any ordinance passed shall be laid before the Dewan Rakyat.
Rafique was responding to Annuar questioning his party’s move to petition the King to summon the Dewan Rakyat to meet and discuss the emergency proclamation, stating that it was tantamount to “treason” to do so.
Annuar, in response to Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan writing to party MPs urging them to support the petition, had said that the emergency was proclaimed lawfully under the Federal Constitution.
Rafique, however, felt the MPs had the right to do so. “I feel it is constitutional in calling for a sitting in Parliament to have an emergency to be looked at when the ordinance talks of exclusion of Parliament,” he added.
Rafique said this is because Parliament represents the “check-and-balance” and it cannot be treasonous as the constitution clearly states so on the issue.
“Annuar may have a biased stand,” he added.
Rafique said the MPs are answerable to the rakyat and their constituents, and that the rule of law msut be upheld.
Lawyer Fahri Azzat also disagreed with Annuar’s explanation, stating the letter cannot be considered an act of treason.
He said it is only treason if Umno says they want to remove the King.
Due to that, he said Annuar may have interpreted the move from a political point of view, not legally.