JOHOR BARU: Dewan Rakyat is looking at limiting the number of MPs to only 80 per meeting over the five-day session when Parliament reconvenes on July 26, says Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon.
Mohd Rashid said the matter was suggested by the Dewan Rakyat committee and would be discussed with the respective political parties chief whip.
“We are expecting the matter to be decided soon as we have about a week before Parliament reconvenes.
“This suggestion is similar to the last Parliament session last year where out of 222 MPs, only 80 of them were allowed,” he said after attending the Prihatin Johor mobile vaccination programme at Dewan Serbaguna Sri Stulang yesterday.
The Batu Pahat MP said the allocation was 44 MPs from the government while the Opposition would have 36 MPs.
“If we followed last year’s arrangement, each meeting will have 80 MPs in the august House and they can take turns to attend with all the standard operating procedure in place.
“There will be two sessions from 10am until 1pm and 2.30pm to 5.30pm,” he said.
Mohd Rashid said all preparations were being done ahead of the reopening of Parliament for five days and another three days for the Senate.
“Every minister and deputy minister must limit their staff to two or three due to strict SOP measures, including carrying out screening tests first,” he said.
Mohd Rashid also reminded all MPs to ask questions pertaining to Covid-19 matters only.
“No debates are allowed but we will give space for the MPs to ask questions. There is only one motion, which is whether to make Parliament hybrid or not,” he added.
Earlier this month, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that a special meeting for Dewan Rakyat would take place between July 26 and Aug 2 while Dewan Negara would meet from Aug 3 to 5.
The special meeting will focus on the National Recovery Plan and amendments to the law to allow a hybrid Parliament meeting to be held.
On a separate matter, Mohd Rashid said less than 10% of MPs had yet to declare their assets as recommended by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“A letter has been sent to these MPs to declare their assets but some of them have reasons not to at the present moment,” he said.
Last Tuesday, MACC recommended that an Act be enacted to make it compulsory for all members of the government administration, Parliament and Senate to declare their assets.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Seri Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil said as of now, no clear punishment could be taken against those who did not do so.
In 2019, the Dewan Rakyat unanimously approved a motion to make it compulsory for all MPs to declare their assets to the Speaker, and for a copy to be given to the MACC.
As of July 6, a total of 97 members of the administration, 198 MPs and 39 Senators have declared their assets.
Shamshun Baharin said currently there was no specific law in relation to the declaration of assets and that MACC could not do any verification on the documents received.
“Investigations are only conducted on those seen to be leading a lavish lifestyle beyond their income under Section 36 of the MACC Act,” he said, adding that Malaysia could follow the lead of neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Thailand that had legal provisions on assets declaration.