KUALA LUMPUR: The special sitting of the Dewan Rakyat today began with Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun(pix) calling for all party leaders to decide on the attendance of their representatives in the august hall even though no limit has been set so far.
He also asked party leaders to rotate the attendance of their representatives every hour to prevent the risk of Covid-19 infection.
“Currently, there is no attendance limit in the hall and the sitting will be held until 5.30 pm. However, I request the cooperation of all party leaders to rotate the attendance of their representatives every hour,” he said.
He explained that the decision was made during the Parliamentary Committee meeting last Friday, adding that it was still considering the number of attendance and the duration of the meeting.
At the same time, Azhar confirmed that two Members of Parliament (MPs) have tested positive for Covid-19 and at least five others were under quarantine for being close contacts.
Besides that, he said 12 Parliament staff have contracted Covid-19 while 58 others were undergoing quarantine.
“This is the Covid-19 situation in Parliament based on the swab test held last Friday. I’m still waiting for the decision (of the Health Ministry) on the proposal to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission in Parliament,” he said.
Earlier, Azhar said he chaired a coordination meeting this morning to discuss matters related to the special sitting.
The meeting was held to seek the views of Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on the Covid-19 situation and on how to conduct the special sitting, he said.
The five-day special sitting of the Dewan Rakyat which started today is being held with the physical presence of all MPs in the hall and in strict compliance with the standard operating procedures.
All MPs, Parliament staff and media practitioners are required to observe physical distancing and to wear two layers of face masks as well as to undergo Covid-19 screening tests.
In June, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah expressed the view that Parliament should reconvene as soon as possible to allow the Emergency Ordinances and the National Recovery Plan to be debated by members of the Dewan Rakyat.
On July 5, the government agreed to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a special sitting of the third session of the 14th Parliament to be held for five days from July 26 to 29, and also on Aug 2, 2021. -Bernama