Speaker Says Info About Covid-19 Cases in Parliament Inaccurate After Furore Among Opposition MPs

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Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun today clarified information about four Dewan Negara staff and a parliamentary auxiliary policeman who tested positive for Covid-19, saying some of the details that came to light yesterday were inaccurate.

Responding to a question by Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PH-Pokok Sena), who expressed MPs’ concerns over the news, Azhar explained that the five individuals do not work full-time in Parliament as previously thought.

“The four Dewan Negara staff are actually the staff of a Dewan Negara senator. They do not have the run of Parliament and only came for a swab test last Wednesday ahead of the parliamentary session,” he told the Dewan Rakyat this morning.

“Meanwhile, the auxiliary policeman works elsewhere, not Parliament.

“We will release a statement on the matter.”

However, Mahfuz, along with Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar (PH-Kuala Langat), pressed ahead while stressing the need to keep MPs safe.

Maszlee Malik (Independent-Simpang Renggam) then stood up and informed the Dewan Rakyat that he shares an office with the senator’s infected staff before asking when the space was sanitised last.

This led to Azhar raising his voice and demanding that the MPs remain calm and trust the Covid-19 SOPs that are in place.

“You are here, that means you are negative,” he said before continuing with proceedings.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in Charge of Parliamentary Affairs Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan revealed that several Dewan Negara staff had tested positive for the coronavirus, with senators among those who might have been infected.

Addressing the Dewan Rakyat, he assured that Parliament had been sanitised in accordance with the National Security Council’s standard operating procedures. – MMO