A flurry of activity in store for one-day Parliament meeting

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 09 May 2020

PUTRAJAYA: The Dewan Rakyat meeting on May 18 will see a flurry of activity despite it being set for a day, before it reconvenes on July 13.

Aside from the opening of the meeting by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the session is only meant to see that government business is settled, says Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said among the orders of the day would be the declaration of the appointment of the Opposition Leader, which Parliament has been informed will be Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The government will also be tabling a motion on the appointment of the parliamentary select committee as well as the appointment of chairman and deputy chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC),” he said yesterday.

Takiyuddin said the Perikatan Nasional government had decided to continue with the practice of appointing a lawmaker from the Opposition to head the PAC.

“Two Supplementary Supply Bills will also be tabled for first reading and a motion to adjourn debate on the King’s speech will also be made,” he said.

Takiyuddin said the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the earlier plan for the Dewan Rakyat to sit from May 18 to June 26.

“But because the Dewan Rakyat must convene six months from the last day of the last meeting, we have decided to have it only for a day, which is May 18, and adjourn it to July 13 when the Dewan will meet for 15 days,” he said.

The initial date for the first Dewan Rakyat meeting this year was March 9, but was postponed following a change in the government.

Takiyuddin explained that it was important for Parliament to meet even for a day, if not Parliament would be automatically dissolved.

“And why is it only for a day? It is public knowledge that mass gatherings are not allowed during the movement control order (MCO) period.

“Some state assemblies were in session for 24 minutes, some for 45 minutes. The longest was two days,” he said.

To abide by the MCO standard operating procedure, there will be social distancing in the sitting arrangements for the MPs.

Takiyuddin said aside from the 222 lawmakers and members of the Dewan Negara, only a handful of senior government officers, including the Chief Justice, Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Armed Forces and Chief Secretary to the Government, will attend.
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