Stop using Covid-19 as an excuse to halt final day of special sitting, says Pakatan

PETALING JAYA: Concerns over the spread of Covid-19 in Parliament cannot be used as an excuse to postpone the final day of the special sitting on Monday (Aug 2), says the Pakatan Harapan presidential council.

The coalition also warned the Perikatan Nasional government against misusing government agencies and ministries, including the Health Ministry, to keep Parliament doors shut on Monday.

In a statement on Saturday (July 31), the council said there were no significant numbers of Covid-19 cases in Parliament last week with Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reporting that the positivity rate in Parliament stood at 0.9%.

It said the threshold set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for adequate testing is a 5% positivity rate.

"Therefore, the issue of the spread of Covid-19 cannot and should not be used as an excuse to adjourn or close the Parliament sitting, which has been scheduled for Monday.

"If Parliament is closed at a positivity rate of less than 1%, there is a high possibility that it will not meet again because the fact is that Covid-19 will continue to be endemic not only in Malaysia, but in the whole world."

The statement was issued by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

On Thursday (July 29), Dr Noor Hisham confirmed that another 11 Covid-19 cases were identified in Parliament, on top of the 56 cases detected from a screening done before the first day of the special Parliament sitting on July 26.

The council said that no matter what transpired, MPs cannot be stopped from being present in Parliament on Monday to execute their duties and responsibilities to the country as well as uphold their vows in protecting the Federal Constitution.

The council added that it is compulsory for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to listen to the voice of the rakyat who want the views of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to be heeded with the Emergency Ordinances laid and debated in Parliament on Monday.

On Thursday (July 29), Dewan Rakyat's afternoon session was postponed for three times before it was finally adjourned until Monday (Aug 2) amid concerns about the Covid-19 infections in Parliament.

However, Parliament secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin announced on Saturday (July 31) that the sitting has been postponed to a date that will be announced later.

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