Only 80 MPs allowed at tabling of Budget 2021 on Friday (Nov 6), says Dewan Rakyat Speaker

KUALA LUMPUR: Only 80 MPs will be allowed to attend the Dewan Rakyat sitting when Budget 2021 is tabled on Friday (Nov 6), says Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.

Azhar, in a message read out by Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, said the decision was to ensure the safety of lawmakers and for smooth Dewan Rakyat proceedings as the nation was facing a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also said that following discussions with chief whips of all parties and taking into consideration the recommendations of the National Security Council and Health Ministry, several decisions were agreed upon.

"The proceedings during the Budget on Friday is only limited to 80 MPs to be present in the House, which will be 41 from the government bloc and 39 from the Opposition and independent bloc.

"The MPs who can be present in the Dewan Rakyat on Friday will be determined by respective parties.

"The Dewan Rakyat secretary will present special cards to Kota Baru (Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan) for the government bloc while the card for Opposition and the independent bloc will be given to Datuk Johari Abdul (PH-Sungai Petani)," said Azhar.

He added that MPs who are seated in the House on Friday will record their attendance on their laptops while those without the special cards will record their attendance at the entry of the blocs.

Azhar also said that there will be changes in the daily proceedings with shortened sittings from 10am to 2pm, beginning Monday (Nov 9) till Dec 15.

The Oral Question Time, which takes place on Monday will only be for one hour compared to the usual 90 minutes.

For Tuesday and Thursday, the Oral Question Time will be shortened to 55 minutes.

Only one additional supplementary question will be allowed and it must be as brief as possible, said Azhar.

The Minister's Question Time, which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday, will also be reduced to five minutes from 30 minutes currently.

"MPs will read their questions and the minister will give a written reply to the lawmakers on the same day.

“The question and reply will also published on the Parliament portal as soon as possible," said Azhar.

He also said the Parliament's third meeting could be extended by two days if necessary.

"I would like the cooperation of all MPs to always follow the SOPs by the Parliament, National Security Council and Health Ministry.

These measures are only temporary for the consideration of the MPs to balance your responsibility in the House as well as to care for your health," he said.

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