The Parliament sitting that never was?

Dewan Rakyat (Bernama Pic)

By Emma Victoria

THE Parliament sitting which has been limited to only the royal address due to health concerns sounds like a desperate excuse considering almost all economic sectors have reopened and people going back to work.

Selangau MP Baru Bian said lawmakers should not be treated as being more delicate and precious than the ordinary citizen.

“It is our duty to attend Parliament to bring up and discuss such matters as the effect of the Covid-19 virus and Movement Control Order (MCO) on the people and the economy, the well-being of the nation, and also to consider the various measures that have been taken by the government to help the people.

In the name of transparency and good governance, the stimulus packages that has been announced needs to be put before the Dewan Rakyat for debate,” he said.

Baru also said Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Mohd Md Yusof had written in his notice dated May 13, that he was directed by the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to make the changes to the Order of the Day.

“The ensuing instruction from the prime minister that all items to be removed from the day’s meeting except for the Royal Address leads one to the inescapable conclusion that he does not have the confidence that he has the numbers to defeat the motion,” he said in  a statement.

He added that there is no logical reason not to have a proper sitting of Parliament – MPs have travelled to Kuala Lumpur from various corners of Malaysia.

“The royal address is an important item in the agenda of a Parliamentary sitting, but by itself, cannot constitute a Parliamentary sitting. How could it be, when there is not even going to be a motion of thanks to be moved for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech, which is traditionally done at the end of a sitting?,” he said.

Baru also said it would be an embarrassment and an affront to the dignity of our Institution of Parliament if this sitting were to be known as a sitting that never was.

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