Parliament meeting to be a tame affair

PETALING JAYA: Parliament’s unprecedented one-day meeting is expected to be a tame affair because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This has never happened before. Under normal circumstances, the first day is reserved for the King’s affairs and debates would usually start the following day.

“As such, it is likely to be a tame affair with none of the usual walkouts and placard protests which happen the next day when debates begin, ” said Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian.

While health is the main worry, he said the Perikatan Nasional government must justify its decision for the one-day meeting and work with the Opposition lawmakers on other platforms to tackle Covid-19 together.

Sharing this sentiment was lawmaker Charles Santiago, who said lawmakers would be focused on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal address.

“Nothing will happen. We will be there, take our seats and happily walk out after the proceedings are done before noon, ” the Klang MP said, adding that the government should develop an e-Parliament as this was now the new norm in other countries.

Former deputy primary industries and commodity minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin also said he expected the one-day meeting to go on without any incident.

However, the Bukit Katil MP said the meeting had given rise to concerns over whether the government was trying to avoid tough questions in the august House, including a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister.

Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto said she was eager to listen to the King’s speech and discover how the country could move forward in unison under the “new normal”.

“As per the standing orders, we will convene and listen to the King’s speech. I don’t know if the Prime Minister or his men may pull anything out of their hat.

“We shall wait and see, ” she said.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is scheduled to deliver the royal address when opening the first meeting of Parliament.

The second meeting of Parliament will begin on July 13.

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