THE 40 state assemblymen have been told to follow the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) during the state legislative assembly meeting or risk being ‘quarantined’.
Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang said some assemblymen had been exhibiting “unhealthy symptoms” such as red faces, shortness of breath and coarse voice while debating the state’s Budget 2021.
“The unhealthy symptoms have started. Some, while debating, were breathing heavily and their faces were turning red behind their masks.
“Whether it is the Covid-19 SOP or the assembly SOP, I want to remind all assemblymen to debate in accordance with the SOP, ” he said on the fourth day of the state legislative assembly at Dewan Sri Pinang on Thursday.
On Monday and Tuesday, Law reminded the assemblymen to comply with the Covid-19 SOP and to wear their masks at all times, even when debating or delivering speeches.
The current meeting of the state legislative assembly is arranged based on Covid-19 SOP where each assemblyman is seated 1m apart and additional clear plastic dividers are put up between them.
The number of people allowed to attend the assembly meeting is limited to only assemblymen and heads of departments of government agencies.
The assembly session is being broadcast live via the assembly website and social media.
Meanwhile, Dr Afif Bahardin (Bersatu-Seberang Jaya) landed himself in hot water for calling a fellow lawmaker “childish” during the sitting.
Such a remark was a no-go for Law.
“Seberang Jaya, take it back.
Do not belittle any member of this Hall, ” Law told Dr Afif who then offered his apologies to Muhammad Faiz Fadzil (PH-Permatang Pasir).
While debating the state’s budget, Muhammad Faiz made a reference to the cancelled RM100mil Federal allocation for the Penang cable car plan.
Dr Afif got up and rebutted that it did not mean Federal Government was being cruel to Penang and that it was “too childish” to think so.
A rumbling rose in the Hall as many assemblymen prepared to get up and respond to Dr Afif but before they could, Law ordered the retraction.