Upcoming DUN session shortened to five days due to Covid-19

Mohd Asfia at a press conference held at DUN Complex here today (Nov 5, 2020).

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 5:  The upcoming Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) has been shortened from the initial 10 days to five days.

DUN speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfa Awang Nassar said he had received a notification from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to change the date of upcoming DUN session from Nov 9 – 18, 2020 to Nov 9 -13, 2020.

“The reasons for this change of dates and shortening the time of the meeting is because of the rising cases of Covid-19 in the State.

“Sharp increase in Covid-19 cases which continue to spiral and show no signs of abating thereby compelling the DUN to reduce the days of sittings to five days,” said Asfia in a press conference today.

He further pointed out that it was also the advice of Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah who categorically stated that a long parliamentary session poses higher risk of Covid-19 virus infection.

“In tandem with this advice, the YAB Ketua Menteri has judiciously abided by this guideline in the interest of Sarawak as a whole and to the health of the honourable members, members of the cabinet, members of the bureaucracy and all those involved in the sittings of the DUN,” said Asfia.

Towards this end, he said the DUN has taken measures and precautions to minimise the risk of the pandemic where every state lawmaker and those who enter the Chambers including the Speaker must take a swab test which will be done on Nov 6 and 7 before the sitting.

The DUN building will be disinfected and sanitised on Nov 8, a day before the sitting and Nov 14, a day after the sitting.

“Rule of physical and social distancing will also be strictly observed where there will be transparent barriers among and in between the lawmakers,” said Asfia.

Meanwhile, Asfia said there will be debates on Sarawak Budget 2021 as well as on bills introduced and there will be questions and answers time. 

However, there will be no winding speeches by the ministers but a summary consisting of all ministerial replies will be made by the Chief Minister in the latter’s winding up speech. — DayakDaily