Anwar asks Dewan Rakyat Speaker to allow ample time for MPs to debate when Parliament reopens

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the MPs need to debate a lot of matters, especially the effectiveness of the current Covid-19 prevention and mitigation programmes. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the MPs need to debate a lot of matters, especially the effectiveness of the current Covid-19 prevention and mitigation programmes. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 ― Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is urging the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to allow ample time for all MPs to debate during the upcoming Parliament session.

In a statement, Anwar said the MPs need to debate on a lot of issues, especially the effectiveness of the current Covid-19 prevention and mitigation programmes.

“I have written a letter to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker urging him as the head of the house to ensure the MPs are given enough time to debate as much as they want.

“The important factors such as the effectiveness of our Covid-19 mitigation programmes can only be determined if the MPs are given time to express their proposals and views during the debates.

“MPs are not paid to attend Parliament and nod their heads in approval to everything without any detailed and complete discussions,” he said.

Parliament will sit for five days starting July 26, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced after months of public and Palace pressure.

Dewan Rakyat proceedings will take place from July 26 to July 29 and August 2, meanwhile, the Senate will sit for three days from August 3 to August 5.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had faced growing pressure to convene Parliament amid mounting criticism over his government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Perikatan Nasional administration had refused to cave in amid talks that Muhyiddin was trying to prevent the Opposition from ousting him through a no-confidence vote.

The prime minister had often cited the public health crisis and the danger of transmission to justify keeping both the Lower and Upper Houses closed.

This had prompted the Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to issue two statements in the last two weeks, calling for Muhyiddin to convene Parliament “as soon as possible.”

The PMO said the special parliament sitting will observe a standard operating procedure to be prepared by the National Security Council with the advice of the Ministry of Health.

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