Anwar: Allow more days for special Parliament sitting

PETALING JAYA: The special Parliament sitting should be extended beyond five days so that MPs may discuss important issues about the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).

The Opposition leader said he understood that there were restrictions in the amount of time lawmakers can gather because of the ongoing health crisis.

“I understand the restrictions and I agree with the Speaker that there are considerations due to Covid-19.

“But I ask the Speaker to discuss with the Minister (concerned) to increase the number of days (of the sitting), because a number of issues like education were not discussed in detail.

“Limiting the time to only three or four hours, we can accept for the days to come.

“But I ask for consideration (to convene for more days) so that the MPs can air their views,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (July 29).

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said it is up to the minister giving the briefing in Parliament whether or not the time should be extended.

“It is not within my power to extend the time. It states here in Standing Order 12(3) of the Parliament that the Speaker may extend the time of sitting after 5.30pm or after such time as may be determined by the House for not more than 15 minutes.

“However, there is a proviso in Standing Order 12(1) that the minister may without notice move at any time a motion to be decided without amendment or debate to vary the time of sitting of the House.

“So it depends on the minister to do so, and whether he finds it appropriate to do so,” he said.

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