Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council has urged the government to convene a two-week Parliament sitting which will start on May 18.
This is following Putrajaya’s decision which allows several economic sectors to operate fully starting on April 29 during the restricted movement order (RMO).
In a statement, Pakatan Harapan said this was in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Dewan Rakyat to enable the Parliamentary session scheduled for May 18 to continue as usual, for more than a day as what had been previously announced.
“There are problems concerning the Rakyat that also need special attention from the Parliament, including their welfare, employment and even to keep the government on check and balances.”
The council also called for amendments to the Standing Orders to allow Parliament to convene, including online proceeding and with fewer members of Parliament without affecting quorum or vote’s percentage of each party.
“Although the Covid-19 outbreak has shown a slowdown and those who were affected are recovering well, it still has to be conducted carefully.
“The impact of Covid-19 on our economy is huge. So many businesses lose their income and many may lose their jobs.
“The Bar Council and several business associations are also calling for law amendments or new laws to be drafted to address the problem and ensure the economic sector works well,” it said.
The council, comprising PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, said reopening the economy was welcome following the adverse economic effects of the MCO.
Dewan Rakyat will convene for the first time since the downfall of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Earlier, Dewan Speaker Riduan Rahmat said that Parliament would hold a one-day session on May 18 next in line with the enforcement of RMO in order to break the Covid-19 chain.
In a letter issued to all parliamentarians, Riduan said the sitting would only discuss the government’s affairs and not allow any other question-and-answer session.
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim said Pakatan Harapan (PH) is considering the possibility to challenge court on the decision to conduct the parliamentary session for just one day only.
He said his team is now dealing with lawyers on that possibility.
“However, this is important. We must emphasize and explain that it is not a one-day session.
“It was just the opening ceremony. The Royal Inauguration Ceremony of the Opening of Parliament by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“If it were announced as one day, most people would expect at least a half-day debate session, but this time there is no none,” Anwar said.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Takiyuddin Hassan said the government will continue to be guided based on the advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH) as well as the relevant specialists to ensure that its decisions and actions are based on facts, for the benefit and safety of all.
Takiyuddin said the government was not prepared to take risks, especially when it was based on the judgment and decision of other countries “which were not in a better position” in handling the Covid-19 outbreak.
“While we have almost succeeded in dealing with Covid-19 in our own way and approach, the government is not prepared to take the risk, especially when it is based on the consideration and decisions from other countries that do not have a better position in the context of dealing with the virus outbreak.
“The government believes that in the current situation, we are not competing on who is more popular, but the priority is to see who is more effective,” he said.
DAP MP Lim Kit Siang has asked for clarification from the Ministry of Health, whether the ministry is advising the government to conduct the Parliament sitting for one day only.
Lim has expressed his doubts that such instruction came from the ministry.
He asked for the Director-General of Health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah to explain further on the matter.
“I hope that Noor Hisham will be able to give an explanation if the ministry is advising the government not to proceed with the Parliament’s sitting for more than a day.”
30th April 2020 21:19
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