KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional did not deliberately delay the date for the coming Parliament meeting, but did it to meet the needs of the ruling government and give enough time for the opposition to prepare for the meeting, says Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa (pic).
He said in the coming meeting, the ruling coalition needs to choose a new Speaker.
MPs too need time to prepare and send in their oral and written questions while ministries need time to answer the questions, he said.
"Hence, it is impossible to meet in March or April," he said during a press conference on Wednesday (March 4) after the secretaries-general of Umno and MCA met to discuss how they can strengthen their election machinery in preparation for a possible general election.
Earlier on Wednesday, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof in a statement, announced that the upcoming Parliament meeting will reconvene on May 18, to replace the March 9 date scheduled earlier.
Annuar also said that when Pakatan Harapan formed the government, they too had to wait for two months before Parliament could sit.
He said that Parliament needed to meet within six months of the last session on December 5 last year.
"That meant Parliament should meet before June 5. So, based on the Speaker's announcement, it's May 18, which is on my birthday," he said.
Annuar said that May 18 was within the stipulated time allowed and refuted allegations that the government was afraid to have the Parliament meeting earlier.
"It's not because we want to delay it but for it to be done properly and according to the full compliance of the standing order.
"This has been arranged properly to give enough time for government to carry out government business matters and at the same time give time for all MPs to table a motion or to send in their oral or written questions," he said.
In a press conference here held together with MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon and his team, Annuar said that they had discussed about the election machinery and the needed preparation of both parties for the next general election.
Wanita MCA chief Heng Seai Kie, MCA Youth chief Nicole Wong, MCA Headquarters Administrative director-general Datuk Lim Chin Hai and MCA publicity bureau head Chan Quin Er attended the meeting together with Chong.