KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Dewan Negara today passed the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The bill was approved after the third reading by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and debated by three senators.

Mas Ermieyati when winding up the debate on the bill said the government was committed to ensuring that mediation services through the Covid-19 Mediation Centre (PMC-19) were announced to the people.

“Ongoing campaigns are being carried out through official channels involving radio and television stations as well as through rail advertising under Prasarana Berhad apart from through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and so on.

“PMC-19 will operate until December 31, 2021, but the extension of part two (of the PMC-19 operation) is under consideration by the government given the current situation of the Covid-19 outbreak,” she said.

Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib and Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Awang Hashim also took part in the debate session.

Earlier when tabling the bill, Mas Ermieyati said the purpose of the amendments under the Prime Minister’s Department was to expand the scope of the implementation of mediation services under PMC-19.

According to her, as of December 7, 2021, PMC-19 has received a total of 171 applications for mediation services of which 13 per cent or 22 cases have been completed, while four cases are in the mediation process or are waiting to proceed.

She said the remaining 145 cases were incomplete applications where the mediation process could not proceed due to various factors.  

She said amendments to Subsection 9 (1) of Part II would allow more parties affected by various contractual obligations due to the movement control order (MCO) and Covid-19 to use PMC-19 services.

Meanwhile, the Dewan Negara also approved the Small Estates (Distribution) (Amendment) Bill 2021 which gives the people an option in obtaining estate management services provided by the government.

The bill was approved after the third reading by the Deputy Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Ali Biju and debated by seven senators. — Bernama