KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — The Dewan Rakyat sitting was postponed from 1pm today until tomorrow, after a Dewan Negara officer tested positive for Covid-19.
Minister from the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Parliament and Law Takiyuddin Hassan raised the motion — which majority of MPs later passed — after a discussion with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker and all party whips earlier this morning on postponing today’s Parliament afternoon session.
“All whip leaders have been called and a consensus has been achieved. A representative of the Health director-general was also present in the meeting earlier,” Takiyuddin told the Dewan Rakyat.
Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin raised his disagreement to the proposal, stating that the Covid-19 virus does not rest between 10am to 1pm and only attacks after that.
“I don’t see the rationale in reducing the time because Covid-19 attacks any time. Covid-19 does not rest after 1pm or it doesn’t not rest between 10am to 1pm,” the PKR lawmaker said.
“We gave a lot of issues that need to be debated. If we reduce the Parliamentary seating time, then it will affect the affairs of Members of Parliament,” Sim stressed.
Takiyuddin replied: “I am not a medical doctor who can confirm this, but we were advised by the Ministry of Health (MOH) that the risk is very high.”
“Our position in a particular situation like this even though we have a glass (between us), but to what extent can it help us to avoid the transmission? MOH said the longer we are together, the risk is higher,” Takiyuddin said, while adding that it takes more than two hours for the whole area to be disinfected and sanitised.
Senator Ras Adiba Radzi has released a statement, stating that her special officer, who is also her younger sister, has been detected Covid-19 positive after a recent screening.
Senator Ras Adiba said in her statement that she and her 10 other family members are currently waiting for their test results.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun said whether the timing for the daily Parliament sitting to be held from 10am to 1pm every day for 27 days this meeting, instead of until 5pm, will be discussed by ministers and those who attended the special meeting this morning.
It is to be noted that Budget 2021 is scheduled to be tabled this Friday at the Dewan Rakyat.