KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today Parliament can reconvene in September or October under strict standard operating procedures (SOP) based on the government’s new recovery plan.
He said that during the third phase of the four-phase plan, which may be achieved that month if the numbers of Covid-19 new cases continued to drop to below 2,000 each day, and the vaccination rate reaches 40 per cent of the population.
“I would like to give a commitment that the parliamentary session can be held in this Phase Three which is around September or October by following the strict SOP.
“This is my position from the beginning that the system of parliamentary democracy can function again at the appropriate time, that is, once the Covid-19 cases are under control and we have almost achieved group immunity,” he said in a special address today.
Muhyiddin also slammed his detractors that he wanted to delay the Parliamentary sitting and said he will continue to uphold the principles of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.
“There should be no parties who deliberately cause unrest and confusion among the people so as to interfere with the main task of the government to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
This comes even as on June 6, de facto law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government was researching ways to run the Parliament sessions via hybrid mode.
Since last year, Parliament has not been reconvened as it typically would, as it has been suspended under the Emergency from January 11 to August 1.
Last year, the Dewan Rakyat was set to have its first meeting of the year on March 9, but this was deferred to a one-day sitting on May 18 where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong delivered his royal address and with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic cited as the reason for no debates or questions being allowed or any Bills being tabled.
The usual days of debates were skipped entirely for the first meeting. The second meeting of the Dewan Rakyat was later carried out on July 13 to August 27, while the third meeting was from November 2 to December 17.
Opposition has pressed for Parliament to reconvene but Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun has said it is up to the government to decide whether Parliament can sit, citing Article 40 of the Federal Constitution.
This was after Azhar’s deputy Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said — herself a former de facto law minister reiterated her call for the government to consider reconvening Parliament given the state of the country now.