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  • Nur Syafiqah Abdullah

Chan challenges Speaker Azhar Harun to fix date for next Parliament sitting

3 Aug 2021

By Nur Syafiqah Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR: Democratic Action Party (DAP)'s Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin challenged Speaker Azhar Harun to issue an official letter in black and white fixing a sitting after two weeks’ time of Parliament closure.

Citing statistical data, he asserted that only 11 confirmed cases were detected out of 1,183 people screened in Parliament on Thursday, which means that the rate of confirmed cases is only 1 per cent.

Such a number does not justify the close of Parliament and it is going against the Standing Orders, he said in a statement today.

"Most of the people present in Parliament were already vaccinated. If the Ministry of Health's standards for a premise to be allowed to operate were to be so high (1 per cent to force closure), then no national recovery plan will ever work or take place!

"And If indeed the situation in Parliament is really as horrible as Dr Noor Hisham would seem to suggest, then why did he and Health Minister Adam Baba still attended the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing held yesterday?

"Why were they allowed into the building? Why can parliament staff go to work as usual, but only opposition members are barred?"

The third session of the 14th Malaysian Parliament which was supposed to be prorogued last year is still ongoing, he stated.

Chan also reckoned Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin seems to be buying time as he needs time to identify and satisfy the demands of Umno MPs in order to hold onto power as Prime Minister.

According to him, Muhyiddin’s instruction seemed to be endorsed by the Director-General of Health, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah who announced that the closure of the Parliament building following the detection of Covid-19 cases.

The secretary of Sabah DAP also slammed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s actions for barring opposition MPs from entering the Parliament building to perform their duties which he deemed as high-handed tactics.

He said that this shows that the Prime Minister has officially entered distress mode - that he is no longer confident that he retains the confidence of the majority of the members of parliament.

“The deployment of the police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) to prevent all Opposition MPs from entering the Parliament building is an unprecedented move.

"I can tolerate a lot, but they really crossed the line when they blocked us, physically," he said, also questioning the need to resort to taking such high-handed measures to deal with MPs.

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