Heated debates in store but MPs get to unwind too


  • Nation
  • Friday, 10 Jul 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Monday’s Parliament meeting will see MPs enjoying facilities at two new buildings at the Parliament House here.

Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon said the two blocks, which were constructed as part of the Parliament House facelift project carried out since 2015, would house offices, a library, a gymnasium, a sauna room, discussion and meeting rooms, cafeteria and surau.

Mohd Rashid expressed hope that the MPs would be able to improve their performance and quality of debates in the Dewan Rakyat with the facilities provided for them.

“They can also participate in recreational activities after attending the daily Parliament meetings at the tennis and badminton courts and even the sauna room,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Facelift: The front (top) and back view of the new blocks of the Parliament that houses a library, a sauna and meeting rooms.Facelift: The front (top) and back view of the new blocks of the Parliament that houses a library, a sauna and meeting rooms.

He also said that the Dewan Rakyat had received more than 10 motions from MPs, mostly focusing on helping the nation to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic in an effective manner.

“A few motions involved the Dewan Rakyat Speaker (Tan Sri Mohamad Aridd Md Yusof) and Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker (Nga Kor Ming).

“Regardless of what happens, we must uphold decorum, civility and abide by the laws of the country ,” he said.

He added that all the motions received were in accordance with the Dewan Rakyat procedures and the Standing Orders.

With Parliament convening for the first time for debates since Perikatan Nasional took over the Federal Government, many lawmakers are hoping for longer debating periods.

The first meeting of the third session of the 14th Parliament was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed to a one-day meeting in May due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

On May 18, the Dewan Rakyat convened for a few hours for the Royal Address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

Sandakan DAP MP Vivian Wong said it would be appropriate that longer debating time be allowed, as it had been more than seven months since the last parliamentary debate was held in December last year.

“A lot of Bills and motions are pending. There are also massive changes in the past four to five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are in a crisis mode. We can’t afford to delay any further on Bills that need to be debated and passed by the Parliament to deal with this crisis,” she added.

Bukit Katil MP Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin of PKR believed that the coming parliamentary debates would be more intense.

“Certainly, we are prepared to sit for long hours since these are unprecedented times for Malaysia,” he said.

He said the main agenda would be the motion to replace the current Speaker and his deputy, as well as the debate on the Royal Address.

As the PKR spokesman for rural development, he said he would deliberate on the Special United Nations Rapporteur report on extreme poverty.

Pasir Salak Umno MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, however, believed that the coming Dewan Rakat session would be a normal affair.

He said the efforts of the Perikatan Nasional government in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic had gained the trust of Malaysians.

“This government has not only been spending money to help people during the pandemic but also coming up with recovery plans to help various sectors of the economy.

“The public now realise that the government is capable and able, unlike the previous Pakatan Harapan government, which threw all sorts of allegations against the (Barisan Nasional) government before them,” he added.

Arau Umno MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim also echoed similar sentiments as Tajuddin, saying the upcoming parliamentary session would be business as usual.

“Last time, the debates were limited to five minutes each, so this will go on.

“Most importantly, even though the Opposition MPs are many, we do not have a problem as we also have a big number (of MPs),” he said, referring to the MPs from Umno, PAS, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and Gabungan Parti Sarawak.
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Parliament , Mohd Rashid Hasnon , Covid-19

   

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