MPs still waiting on word about Parliament’s special meet

PETALING JAYA: Members of Parliament have yet to receive the notice to attend the Dewan Rakyat five-day special meeting starting July 26.

Perikatan Nasional Backbenchers chairman Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim said several MPs had approached him recently to seek clarification on the matter.

“I met Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun on Tuesday and informed him that the MPs have yet to get the notice to attend Parliament.

“He said he will look into the matter,” said Shahidan when contacted yesterday.

Asked if there would be any debates on the Emergency Proclamation, the Arau MP said debates would go on but it was unlikely that there would be any voting.

“There will be debates on the Emergency Proclamation but there will be no voting. This is because the proclamation is only to be laid on the table and not raised as a motion for debates and voting.”

Unlike normal meetings, Shahidan said there would be no usual Minister’s Question and Answer session during the coming special meeting.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in announcing the special meeting on July 5 said it would focus on the Covid-19 National Recovery Plan and amendments to Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Orders to allow a hybrid Parliament meeting to be held in the future.

The PMO noted that the meeting would allow the Emergency Proclamation and related ordinance to be “laid before both Houses of Parliament” in accordance with Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Dewan Negara will sit for three days from Aug 3-5.

Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah also said that she had yet to receive notice of the special meeting.

“I only got to know of the special meeting from the official statement which was reported by the media and on social media,” she said.

She was doubtful if the MPs would be allowed to raise questions during the meeting as the 14-day deadline for them to submit questions to Parliament had passed.

Klang MP Charles Santiago and Subang MP Wong Chen also said they had yet to receive any notification of the special meeting and expressed concern that it would be more of a briefing session by the government on the pandemic situation and Covid-19 recovery plan.

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