KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun today permitted Members of Parliament to remove their face mask when speaking in the House, citing approval from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Azhar, who is also known as Art Harun, said this decision was made after no Covid-19 cases were reported in Parliament during the current Dewan Rakyat meeting. Most MPs have been fully vaccinated.
“I would like to inform you that during our meeting this time, with antigen and PCR tests conducted, no one has been found positive in Parliament’s compound during this meeting,” Azhar mentioned in Parliament today.
“Based on this risk assessment, MOH is of the view that face masks during debates in the lower house are allowed to be removed during the debate session.
“But esteemed Members are reminded to wear their face masks again immediately after their speech,” Azhar added.
As soon as the new relaxation was announced in the Dewan Rakyat, Finance Minister Senator Tengku Zafrul Aziz immediately removed his face mask before beginning his speech.
Several parliamentarians, including former Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad and Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS), also spoke without a face mask in the Dewan Rakyat today after the Speaker’s announcement.
As Malaysia is starting to embrace a Covid-19 endemic phase, with more than 90 per cent of adults completely inoculated, health experts continuously advise the public to follow all precautionary measures, including wearing a face mask, to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks.