It’s sleight of hand, Pakatan leaders allege

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan has criticised the decision by Parliament to postpone the special Dewan Rakyat sitting.

Its presidential council said fears of Covid-19 cannot be used as an excuse to misuse government agencies and ministries to keep the Dewan Rakyat doors closed.

In a statement signed by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Pakatan urged all civil servants, including Health Ministry personnel and director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, against “colluding with the Perikatan Nasional government to perform a sleight of hand to purposely close Parliament House”.

Pakatan claimed there were no significant numbers of Covid-19 cases in Parliament House last week as Dr Noor Hisham reported that the positivity rate in Parliament stood at 0.9%. 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 House 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 Opposition coalition said.

Pakatan added that MPs cannot be stopped from being present in Parliament House tomorrow to carry out their duties.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman questioned the postponement, adding that all MPs have been vaccinated.

“Why did all the MPs get early vaccination? Parliament is a not a political tool of the Perikatan government,” he posted on Facebook.

On Thursday, the Dewan Rakyat’s afternoon session was postponed three times before it was finally adjourned – initially to tomorrow – amid concerns about Covid-19 infections in Parliament House.

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

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