MP asks Speaker to allow written questions to ministers despite Parliament’s suspension

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Klang MP Charles Santiago has asked the Speaker to permit ministers to be questioned about their ministries’ affairs notwithstanding the suspension of Parliament under the Emergency.

He said the suspension was not an excuse for lawmakers to stop performing their duties, especially when the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing.

“When Parliament is not in session for such a long time, a lot of pressing issues about life and death and Covid-19 issues.


“We write statements, we tweet, but we didn’t get any response from the government,” Charles told Malay Mail when contacted.

In the February 8 letter to Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, he said there were pressing matters affecting his constituents that required answers from members of the Cabinet, such as those relating to Covid-19 standard operating procedures and the restoration of the economy.

He appended a list of questions with his letter, which ranged from asking Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan if Covid-19 screenings would be expanded to Malaysian workers and how the Workers’ Minimum Standards Of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 was being used to address work dormitories that were a major source of new infections.

Parliament along with all state assemblies are suspended until August 1 under an Emergency Ordinance gazetted last month.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed an Emergency across Malaysia on January 11 after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin advised him to do so, ostensibly to allow the government to better tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. – MMO