KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — De facto law minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the next parliamentary meeting will be on July 13 and will be for at least 15 days.

He claimed that this disproved claims that the government was afraid of parliamentary oversight when it shortened the May 18 meeting to just a single day.

The PAS lawmaker explained that the May 18 meeting was purely to comply with Article 55 of the Federal Constitution and prevent the automatic dissolution of the legislature.

“It does not arise that the government is afraid to do so, if the government is afraid, then we would have set 15 days (of meeting) earlier but because of the current situation, we could not make it longer.

“However, the government has set the next meeting to begin on July 13, less than two months after the May 18 meeting. In the July meeting, it will take at least 15 days, 15 seating days to convene,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya today.

According to the Parliament website, the dates set aside for the meeting are from July 13 to August 27, 2020.

On the May 18 meeting, Takiyuddin said it will be attended by the Yang DiPertuan Agong, Dewan Negara Senators, the Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Malaysian Armed Forces, Chief Secretary to the Government as well as the Chief Justice of Malaysia.

“Only they are invited, all other government officers are not invited this time.

“We will do away with some usual customs such as the line inspection in the opening ceremony will not happen.

“The Agong will give an opening speech and after he has left, the Dewan will start with the government matters and then we will postpone the meeting till July,” he said, adding that there will be no break or cut off time since it is Ramadan.

Takiyuddin said that the proceedings on that day will include the appointment of the Opposition leader and members of select committees, while government matters will include the motion for two supplementary supply Bills that will be read for the first time in Parliament.

“There are two important Bills regarding finance that will be brought on the May seating that are the Supplementary Supply Bill 2019 and Supplementary Supply Bill 2020.

“Both will be brought for the first reading only and the second and third reading will be brought to July,” he said.

On another matter, Takiyuddin said Speaker Tan Sri Mohd Ariff Yusof has restricted news coverage to only official government media on that day.

He said that other media could appeal to the Speaker as it was his prerogative to decide entry into Parliament.

The decision by the government to allow only one day of parliamentary sitting was criticised by the Opposition as inadequate to discuss matters related to Covid-19 outbreak.