We might extend Parliament for two more days, says Wan Junaidi

KUALA LUMPUR: The current Parliament session might be extended by two days to Dec 18, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said this was to allow all Bills to be passed in the Second Reading in the current Parliament session.

The current Parliament session that began on Oct 25 is scheduled to sit for 32 days until Dec 16.

"There is a possibility that we apply from Parliament and the government to add another two more days to pass all Bills that have gone through the First Reading in the House," he said during Question Time in Parliament on Thursday (Nov 25).

Wan Junaidi added that the Bill to amend the Constitution to be in line with Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be tabled for its Second Reading in this sitting

Wan Junaidi was responding to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson), who interjected during Question Time and asked for a guarantee that the Bill to amend the Constitution to be in line with MA63 would be tabled in the current Parliamentary sitting.

Earlier, Anwar pointed out that the MA63 Bill and the lowering of voting age to 18 are among the main focal points in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pakatan Harapan and the government.

Anwar then spoke at length about the MoU signed between Pakatan Harapan and the government, and he noted several issues involving independence of the judiciary.

"Our achievements will be sacrificed if the judiciary is a mess," added Anwar.

Responding to Anwar, Wan Junaidi assured that the voting age will be lowered to 18 as the Kuching High Court already gave an order to the Election Commission to implement Undi18 by Dec 31 of this year.

"If we do not implement this, then the Prime Minister and the government would be in contempt of court," added Wan Junaidi.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon was chairing the session then.

Later on, Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun took over and he reprimanded MPs for asking lengthy questions and including their debate points during Question Time.

He said MPs should have limited their questions to 30 seconds, but some MPs went on for a few minutes.

"If we follow the convention of the UK's House of Commons, questions are 30-seconds and answers are limited to a minute. I also found that many MPs stood up to debate. This is against the rules,” said Azhar.

Azhar said that Standing Order 24 reads that MPs shouldn't insert debate points into their respective questions.

"This is not a debate, this is a session where ministers answer. We must stop this practice. The principle behind Question Time is that we want as many questions as possible asked and answered, not dominated by YB's whose question is in the top 10,” he added.

Azhar then demanded cooperation from all MPs during Question Time in future.

"Forward your questions right away, we don't need long lectures. Some questions are 1.5 minutes, and some are 10 seconds, so that eats into the time of other MPs. This is unfair to you all." said Azhar.

Azhar subsequently proceeded to a question by Lim Lip Eng (PH-Kepong) on Kuala Lumpur hawkers and Hannah Yeoh (PH-Segambut) tried to intervene to ask about government initiatives for hawkers, but she was stopped by Azhar.

"Only three questions are allowed. Three is the rule."

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