Parliament session suspended after Dewan Negara staff tests positive for Covid-19

Parliament of Malaysia crest. - file pic

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By Adrian Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2: The first day of the third meeting of the Third Term of the 14th Parliament session was cut short until 1pm today as a few staff at the Dewan Negara have tested positive for Covid-19.

Following a special meeting chaired by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun this morning with all the chief whips of various political parties in the presence of Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan tabled a motion under Standing Order 12(1) to cut the duration of today’s sitting.

He revealed that there were Dewan Negara staff who had tested positive for Covid-19.

“There is one update which I would like to inform the august House. A few staff of Dewan Negara have been confirmed positive for Covid-19, and there could potentially be some senators who might be infected with the virus.

“This is because the officer attached to this senator has a family relationship.

“This is the update which worries us.

“So there is a need by all the MPs to obtain further explanation from all the chief whips of political parties who have agreed to make some adjustments for the duration of the Parliament sitting that there will be no sitting in the afternoon,” he told Parliament today.

He added that today’s sitting will be adjourned til tomorrow November 3 at 10am.

He disclosed that a consensus has been achieved by all the chief whips during the special meeting held at the Speaker’s meeting room.

Takiyuddin said he has been in Parliament five days prior to the start of the third meeting of the Third Term of the 14th Parliament session.

He also disclosed that the Parliament building has been sanitised every morning for more than two hours as part of the efforts to prevent Covid-19 infections.

Following feedback and advice from the Health Ministry, Takiyuddin noted the risk of Covid-19 infection within the Parliament hall is high as there is an increased risk of Covid-19 infection the longer the Parliament session is held within the hall.

Takiyuddin opined that Standing Orders 12(1) could be applied just for the week until before the Budget 2021. — DayakDaily