Parliament to sit on May 18 for just one day

PETALING JAYA: Dewan Rakyat will sit for just one day when lawmakers meet for the first time this year on May 18.

The one-day sitting notification was issued by Dewan Rakyat secretary Riduan Rahmat to Members of Parliament through email yesterday.

According to the notice, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah will deliver the Royal Address at 10am.

The secretariat also informed the MPs that only laws and government matters related to the fight against Covid-19 would be the focus of the proceedings.

As such, there would be no question and answer session or motions raised in the House.

Parliament was to have met on March 9 but was postponed to May 18 for a one-week meeting when Perikatan Nasional took over administration following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said Pakatan’s presidential council had asked for at least two days of meeting for more substantive discussion on Covid-19.

“I am disappointed that it is this short.

“We suggested other means to enable the MPs to continue with the sitting, ” said the Lembah Pantai MP.

He cited the United Kingdom parliament as an example where efforts were being made to allow MPs to be present and participate through video conferencing.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said Parliament’s Special Select Committee should at least be allowed to scrutinise the Covid-19 stimulus packages via video conferencing.

On Wednesday, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said Parliament would go ahead with proceedings amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the meeting would be conducted under social distancing measures with advice from the Health Ministry.

He added only official media would be allowed to cover the proceedings from the media room while a limited number of government officers would be allowed into Parliament.

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