'New norm' for Parliament when MPs turn up to vote in full PPE

KUALA LUMPUR: Covid-19 forced Parliament to adopt a new norm, after three MPs currently undergoing home quarantine turned up in Parliament fully clad in personal protective equipment (PPE) to participate in the voting process.

The three MPs - Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (BN-Tenggara), Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (BN-Tapah) and P. Prabakaran (PH-Batu) - were seen clad in full white aprons, along with blue shower caps and visors.

The three were seated at the highest floor of the House, away from all other MPs.

Pictures of the three MPs clad in full PPEs were shared by Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong on Facebook on Monday (Dec 14).

“It’s a new norm in the Dewan Rakyat! The three had requested permission from the Health director-general to attend the voting session in Parliament, ” Dr Wee said.

Article 62 of the Constitution states that “members absent from a House shall not be allowed to vote”.

On Saturday (Dec 12), the Speaker’s Office sent a letter to all MPs stating that those who wanted to take part in the bloc voting of Budget 2021 must get approval from the Health director-general.

Earlier, there was a commotion involving Opposition MPs as they were against the decision to allow the trio to participate in the bloc voting process for the Federal Territories Ministry allocations under Budget 2021 in the House as it could endanger the lives of other MPs.

Following the shouting match, the Opposition walked out in protest, where 110 voted in support, seven voted against, 31 abstained from voting and 72 were absent.

Budget 2021 allocations for two more ministries - Defense and Home Affairs - are scheduled to be debated and passed in Parliament at the Committee stage on Monday.

Committee stage debates for Budget 2021 will take place until Tuesday (Dec 15).

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