Speaker to discuss extension of Parliament proceedings with chief whips

KUALA LUMPUR: Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun says he will consider proposals to extend the current daily Parliament proceedings and a request for oral replies from ministers during Ministers' Question Time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The matter was raised by Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) after Question Time as he urged Azhar to allow ministers a one-minute window to reply to questions raised by MPs orally.

"Questions raised during Question Time are the latest and many are anticipating the minister's answer. If it's possible, one minute or one and a half minutes should be allotted to ministers," he said in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 17).

In response, Azhar said he took note of Khoo's remarks and he would discuss with party chief whips if this could be implemented.

At present, the questions are read out by the MPs who raise the issue. A ministerial written reply is made available on the Parliament's official website.

This is part of the new Parliament SOP to stem Covid-19, with daily proceedings from Monday to Thursday shortened from 10am to 2pm.

Shortly after, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) asked Azhar if would allow more MPs to debate Budget 2021, as the policy stage debate is scheduled to end this week.

"I will ask the minister in charge of Parliament whether he will be able to extend daily proceedings," said Azhar in response.

Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PH-Pokok Sena), then proposed for daily proceedings to be held from 10am to 2pm, followed by a two-hour break and then resume from 4pm until late in the evening.

"I will discuss this again but there are no promises. We must abide by the Health Ministry and the National Security Council's advice," said Azhar.

According to the latest Parliamentary calendar, debates on Budget 2021 are scheduled to end this week, followed by three days of ministerial replies, and it is expected to be voted on by MPs on Nov 26.

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