ISKANDAR PUTERI: The fourth session of the Johor state assembly, which began Thursday (Aug 12), has been postponed to next Sunday (Aug 22) to review the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Covid-19.
State Speaker Suhaizan Kayat made the announcement after Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar had given his decree during the opening of the state assembly meeting held at Bangunan Sultan Ismail here Thursday.
“As what has been advised by His Majesty and in accordance with the assessment by the Johor Health Department and to give space for the dewan’s management to adhere to the SOP for Covid-19, the meeting is postponed to Aug 22,” he said.
Earlier, Sultan Ibrahim decreed that this was the second time that the state assembly meeting was being held under the threat of Covid-19.
“Johor still records a very high number of cases and daily deaths, which have worsened compared to last year. This situation is very concerning for me.
“In addition, there is a new variant that is easier to infect and spread fast, to the point of taking the lives of patients. Therefore, all rakyat are advised to be more careful, reduce movement outside the house and always take preventive measures recommended by the government,” His Majesty added.
Sultan Ibrahim said the state assembly meeting this time around should be done with care.
“Make sure everyone attends according to the SOPs that have been set. Health risk assessment should be done daily. If there is a high risk threat, I have asked the Speaker to adjourn this meeting,” His Majesty added.
Meanwhile, Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the postponement was carried out as there was a need to increase SOP adherence to avoid a repeat of the situation in Parliament at the state assembly meeting.
“We do not want to see the state assembly meeting already halfway before being postponed due to Covid-19. The Speaker is reviewing the SOPs, including how many days and how long the meeting can be held,” he said.
He added that to ensure the health of all assemblymen were taken care of, the state government was looking at introducing a travel bubble for them to make sure they are safe.
“All 56 assemblymen will be placed at a safe location throughout the meeting period to avoid close contacts with any potential Covid-19 cases.
“We will also be looking at installing transparent barriers among the assemblymen, as I believe all of them should attend the meeting instead of holding a hybrid session as the capacity inside the hall is large,” he added.
Hasni said the government would make the announcement on the SOPs a couple of days before Aug 22.