KUCHING, Apr 23: Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council objects to the decision of one-day parliamentary sitting and seek to meet speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof for an extension of the sitting.
In a statement today, PH Presidential Council said the parliamentary session should be extended to at least two days in addition to the day of parliamentary official opening.
PH Presidential Council alleged that the setting of a one-day sitting for its May 18 parliamentary session has violated parliamentary rules and regulations where Questions and Answers will be scrapped and no motion may be tabled.
The Presidential Council said that it is aware that due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, parliament could not convene as it normally does.
It asserted that other parliaments such as those of the United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore had managed to hold their meetings at this time of Covid-19 outbreak by using online technology which Malaysia should emulate.
“For example, the number of MPs to be present may be reduced to a reasonable number to maintain social distancing without jeopardising the quorum or percentage of party representation.
“Online video conferencing can also be used for MPs who want to participate in debate without having to be physically present at the House. Parliamentary rules needed to be amended first for the above suggestion to be put in place,” suggested the Presidential Council.
The Presidential Council also expressed objection to the sitting to limit to one day only as it believed that the debate and discussion on government’s efforts to combat Covid-19 pandemic should be given special attention by the parliament.
“We suggest that the parliamentary session to be held at least for two days in addition to the official opening day of the parliament session to allow further debate and discussion. Such amendment can be done in accordance of Parliamentary Rule 11(2).”
As such, the Council will send a PH representative to meet with the Speaker of the House to discuss over the matter.
The PH Presidential Council statement dated today is undersigned by Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and Democratic Action Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. —DayakDaily