KUALA LUMPUR: A heavier penalty for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and permission for online court proceedings are among two significant matters that were passed at the Second Meeting of the Third Term of the 14th Parliament sitting yesterday.
The heavier penalty for DUI is provided in the The Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020), while the online court proceeding through three court-related bills namely the Courts of Judicature Act 1964, the Subordinate Courts Act 1948 and the Subordinate Courts Rules Act 1955.
Apart from the four bills, the 25-day Parliament session also saw six more bills passed and they included the Supplementary Supply Bill (2019) 2020) and the National Security Council (NSC) (Amendment) Bill 2020) which allows the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare an area as a security area.
Also passed at this Parliament session were three bills pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic, namely the Temporary Measures to Reduce Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Bill 2020; the Temporary Measures For Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)) Bill 2020; and the Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 2020).
The first Parliament session under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has indirectly reflected the strong support for the PN bloc with two motions passed in their favour.
The block voting was for the Supply (Reallocation of Appropriated Expenditure) Bill 2020) and the motion for the previous Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof to vacate his position, which was proposed by Muhyiddin.
Apart from passing the bills, this Parliament session also saw two bills which were supposed to be tabled for the second time, withdrawn.
They were the Constitution (Amendment) related to the appointment of the Prime Minister) and the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill 2019.
The Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill 2020), which was scheduled to be tabled for the second reading, was postponed to the next sitting.
Other bills scheduled for tabling at the next session are the Poisons (Amendment) Bill 2019) and the Cooperatives (Amendment) Bill 2020).
With the change of government, the Parliament session also saw former Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun elected to replace Mohamad Ariff as the 10th Dewan Rakyat Speaker.
It also made history with the appointment of Pengerang Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said as the first woman Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker.
The session ended with Ipoh Timur Member of Parliament Wong Kah Woh elected as Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, replacing Kota Tinggi Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.
Among the interesting issues raised by members of the house during the last week of sitting were on Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, who allegedly violated the mandatory quarantine order after returning from Turkey, apart from the issue on 101 projects awarded through direct negotiations under the previous Pakatan Harapan government.
With the session held during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), certain standard operating procedures (SOPs) were also activated in the Dewan Rakyat to curb the spread of Covid-19, including wearing of face mask and physical distancing. Transparent barriers were also installed in between MPs’ seats to reduce risk of Covid-19 infection.
According to the Parliament official website, the Dewan Rakyat is scheduled to sit again on Nov 2. -Bernama