By Malaysiakini

Lawyer New Sin Yew has taken a swipe at Pakatan Harapan over the federal opposition’s stand on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s discretionary powers to reconvene Parliament.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, New (above) said Harapan should not misconstrue the law to fit its desired outcome of reconvening Parliament, now suspended under emergency laws.

“Let’s not misconstrue established legal principles to suit the desired outcome for this will be precedent,” he added.

Rather than perpetuating the wrong arguments surrounding constitutional provisions on the Agong’s power and discretion, New said those seeking to reconvene Parliament should pursue other available avenues.

“Point is, we shouldn’t drag the Agong into our mess. Speak to your MPs, your state assemblypersons, your local politicians, and tell them to end the emergency and lobby for Parliament to reconvene.

“If they don’t, speak to everyone you know to kick them out.

“To those who continue to defend the misguided notion that the Agong may summon Parliament without the advice of the prime minister, Article 40(2) of the Federal Constitution provides matters which His Majesty may act in his discretion.

“Summoning of Parliament is not one such matter,” he said.

Attorney General Idrus Harun

New also defended Attorney General Idrus Harun over the latter’s view that it was up to the cabinet to decide on reconvening Parliament and the Agong’s discretion does not apply in this case. 

The Harapan presidential council earlier today called Idrus to be sacked for his conduct over the Agong’s call for Parliament to be reconvened “as soon as possible”.

It noted that the attorney general has a constitutional duty under Article 145(2) of the Federal Constitution to advise the Agong and cabinet on legal matters.

However, it said this advice should be conveyed directly to the king instead of being announced publicly, in an alleged breach of confidentiality between a lawyer and a client.

New described Harapan’s call for Idrus’ sacking, and that he was treasonous, as being “absolutely ridiculous”.

“The attorney general has publicly stated the correct legal position that the Agong shall act on the advice of the prime minister in summoning Parliament, which rebukes the mistruths being peddled by so many,” he said.

“Harapan should stop perpetuating self-serving mistruths. I too want Parliament to sit again but not at the expense of established constitutional principles,” he added.

Parliament had been suspended since Jan 11 following a state of emergency which will expire in August.

The Conference of Rulers opposed any extension.

The government initially insisted it will only convene Parliament in September or October.

However, Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara president Rais Yatim have proposed an August-September timeline

They have been summoned by the Agong and are scheduled to meet the ruler on Tuesday.