KUALA LUMPUR: The Third Meeting of the Second Term of the 15th Parliament adjourned on Thursday (Nov 30) after sitting for 32 days from Oct 9, with 12 bills passed, including the Supply Bill 2024 (Budget 2024).
The highest budget ever tabled in the country’s history, with an allocation of RM393.8bil, was tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Oct 13, before being debated at the policy and committee stages for about six weeks and approved on Nov 27 through a majority voice vote.
The sitting also made history when it passed the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, which would be the first law that specifically regulated smoking products in Malaysia.
Despite the fact that the majority of government and opposition MPs wanted the provision pertaining to the generational end game (GEG) that was dropped from the bill to be reinserted, it was passed via a voice vote without amendment on the last day of the sitting.
Also passed in this session were the National Water Services Commission (Amendment) Bill 2023; Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill 2023; Electricity Supply (Amendment) Bill 2023; and the Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill 2023.
Other passed bills were the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (Amendment) Bill 2023; Companies (Amendment) Bill 2023; Public Finance and Fiscal Responsibility Bill 2023; Finance (No.2) Bill 2023; Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Amendment) Bill 2023; and Food (Amendment) Bill 2023.
The meeting this time also approved the White Paper on the Proposed Progressive Wage Policy tabled by Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, which was part of the government’s efforts to address structural issues in the labour market through wage reform.
Meanwhile, MPs from both sides of the divide had pledged their support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to claim their rights and sovereignty.
Also stealing the spotlight was Anwar’s speech in English for the international audience during the Minister’s Question Time session on Oct 31, stating that Malaysia strongly rejected all forms of terrorism and categorically condemned the actions of killing innocent lives and taking women and children as hostages in Palestine.
There was also a heated exchange in the Parliament sitting this time when Bukit Gantan MP Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal openly pledged his support to Anwar and the unity government on Nov 28.
This made him the fifth MP from Bersatu to have done so after Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar) and Datuk Dr Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan).
The antics of MPs from both the government and opposition blocs, which saw them engaging in heated arguments, added colour to this Parliament session, resulting in three of them, namely Mohd Misbahul Munir Masduki (PN-Parit Buntar), Mohd Sany Hamzan (PH-Hulu Langat), and Datuk Awang Hashim (PN-Pendang), being ordered out of the House by the speaker. - Bernama