Dewan Rakyat adjourns sine die, 10 bills passed

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The third meeting of the third term of the 14th Parliament adjourned sine die on Friday (Dec 18), after sitting for 29 days from Nov 2, with 10 bills tabled and passed, including the Supply Bill 2021.

Also passed in this session were the Finance Bill 2020; Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020; Customs (Amendment) Bill 2020; and Excise (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Others are the Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2020; Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020; Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020; Tourism Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020; and Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Meanwhile, the second and third readings of five bills initially scheduled for Friday in the Dewan Rakyat have been postponed to the next sitting, based on the Parliament’s Standing Order Number 62.

The bills are the Windfall Profit Levy (Amendment) Bill 2020; Occupational Safety and Health (Amendment) Bill 2020; Factories and Machinery (Repeal) Bill 2020; Malaysian Space Board Bill 2020; and Independent Police Conduct Commission Bill 2020.

When tabling the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020 for second reading Friday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said it involved an additional expenditure of RM20bil.

“The estimated additional expenditure involves RM14bil to cover the provision of Bantuan Prihatin Nasional; RM4bil to cover Covid-19 related expenses; the need to extend the Subsidy Programme (RM1.5bil), and the provision of Prihatin Special Grants (RM500mil), ” he said.

During the debate on the Bill, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) suggested that all incentives mentioned in the Bill be channelled as early as January next year.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri, when tabling the Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020 and the Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020, said they were aimed at strengthening the implementation of the sales tax.

At the end of Friday’s sitting, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun thanked all MPs for their participation in the meeting.

He also thanked all government officials especially Parliament personnel and media practitioners for ensuring the proceedings ran smoothly this time amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

“As we are aware, since there was an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, several changes had to be made during the sitting to ensure our health and safety, ” he said, while praying for the good health of all parties involved.

Azhar also took the opportunity to wish Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all MPs and Parliament staff celebrating the events, besides apologising for instances he may have been rude, disrespectful or raised his voice throughout the sitting. – Bernama

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