KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — The King and Members of Parliament today stood up in the Dewan Rakyat and clapped for health and security frontliners in the Covid-19 epidemic.
Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said in his address at the first meeting of the third session of the 14th Parliament — which has been shortened for the first time in history to just a one-day sitting — that health services, the Malaysian Armed Forces, the police, the Fire and Rescue Department, the Immigration Department, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), Malaysia Civil Defence Force, Rela, and other agencies have shown full dedication in combating the coronavirus crisis.
“Their sacrifices have not known fatigue or fear until they even sacrificed their own lives and personal safety for the interest of the general public.
“Therefore, as a sign of the country’s appreciation, please stand together with me and give a loud round of applause to all the heroes and heroines working at the country’s frontlines,” Al-Sultan Abdullah said this morning, as he and MPs across the divide rose to their feet and clapped.
As of April 23, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported that 325 MOH staff have tested positive for Covid-19, comprising 5.8 per cent of 5,603 total infections in the country. These cases comprised 77 medical officers, 66 nurses, 34 housemen, 23 medical specialists, 21 medical assistants, and 104 staff from other service schemes. MOH insisted that none of their infections originated from managing confirmed coronavirus patients in government health facilities.
Parliament met today for the first time since the Perikatan Nasional government took power last March when the Pakatan Harapan administration broke up.
A total of 220 out of 222 MPs reportedly tested negative for Covid-19 before they were allowed to attend the one-day Parliament meeting that will only feature the King’s Speech, without any government bills, motions, or debate on Malaysia’s unprecedented health and economic crisis. The King’s Speech is written by the government of the day.
Two federal lawmakers did not get tested because they were under quarantine for being in close contact with confirmed Covid-19 patients.
MPs were spaced out in the hall during the Dewan Rakyat sitting, as they wore face masks.
Malaysia has confirmed 6,872 Covid-19 cases as of yesterday, including 113 fatalities. The government largely eased a seven-week nationwide lockdown on May 4 that was enforced by police and soldiers, replacing it instead with a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) that allowed freedom of movement and businesses to reopen, while maintaining safe distancing and hygiene guidelines.