KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — The Dewan Negara which sat for 10 days since August 20 was adjourned to a date to be specified.
Dewan Negara president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran when announcing the adjournment of the sitting said although various speculations had been raised on several bills that had been passed, the Senate was not a place for members to practise politics of inertness.
“It is my wish to see that future sittings of the Dewan Negara will see an improvement in terms of the quality of the debates. And I wish to emphasise that every member must comply with the standing rules of the august House so that the Dewan is always respected,” he said.
The first meeting of the first term of the 14th Parliament passed eight Bills including the Goods and Services Tax (Abolition) 2018, the Sales Tax Bill 2018 and Service Tax Bill 2018.
Also passed were the Customs (Amendment) Bill 2018, the Free Zone (Amendment) Act 2018 Bill, the Land Public Transport (Amendment) Bill 2018 and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) (Dissolution) Bill 2018.
In addition, the Senate also passed the Supply (Reallocation of Expenditure Allocation) Bill 2018 which allocated RM6.22 billion and tabled following the revamp of several ministries after the 14th general election (GE14).
However, the final day of the Dewan Negara sitting today saw a majority of the senators rejecting the Anti-Fake News (Abolition) Bill 2018 after the second reading.
The decision was announced by Vigneswaran, after a block voting saw 28 senators not supporting the abolition of the act, 21 members supporting, while three others abstained.
The block voting was proposed by Senator Khairul Azwan Harun shortly after Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin concluded the winding up of the bill aimed at abolishing the Anti-Fake News Act 2018.
The sitting this time was the first held after the GE14 which saw Pakatan Harapan forming the new government with the transition of government from Barisan Nasional for the first time.
According to the calendar of the Dewan Negara in the Parliament website, the second meeting is scheduled to be held for 12 days beginning December 3 to 20. — Bernama