KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The Special Chamber running parallel with the Dewan Rakyat held its maiden sitting today.

The chamber is among reforms spearheaded by Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, and will allow matters of national importance or urgency to be discussed without interrupting the normal proceedings of the Lower House.

The Special Chamber located at the Parliament’s temporary building saw five Barisan Nasional (BN) and 16 opposition MPs sitting for an hour today, with Pandikar as the chair.

“I would like to draw the attention of the Ahli Berhormat to make full use of the debates in the Special Chamber as well as possible,” he said in his opening address.


DAP’s Sarikei MP Wong Ling Biu and PKR’s Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani asked questions of Putrajaya regarding the 1Malaysia Clinic and rubber commodity prices respectively.

They were given the ministerial replies by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya and acting plantation industries and commodities minister Nancy Shukri.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said welcomed the introduction of the Special Chamber.


“Sometimes in the main Dewan, too many clustered issues simultaneously. Strategy is to take out debate to specialise the topic. Narrow down issue without interruption and intervention,” she told reporters when met after the sitting today.

DAP parliamentary whip Anthony Loke said he was glad to see parliamentary reforms begin to manifest, but said more must be done.

“We more than welcome this new initiative. Pakatan Harapan totally agrees with this. This is the parliamentary reform we have been waiting for a long time,” he said to reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat lobby today.

Johari, who is also PKR’s parliamentary whip echoed Loke’s sentiments on the Chambers and viewed it as a “good space for lawmakers”.

The Special Chambers is televised internally to allow media personnel to report on proceedings.