Kit Siang: Hamzah’s plan to delay parliament contradicts international norms

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Malaysia will be the first country in the world where its parliament can only meet when the country achieves herd immunity against Covid-19 if Hamzah Zainuddin has his way, said Lim Kit Siang.

“This runs counter to all international practices, whether the Congress in the US, the House of Commons in the UK, and the Lok Sabha in India or the Diet in Japan, as no parliament in the world has subjected its proceedings to the question whether herd immunity against Covid-19 had been achieved in the country!” Lim said in a statement today.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said nobody currently knows when herd immunity against Covid-19 can be achieved.

Lim said when Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliament) Takiyuddin Hassan announced the proposal for a hybrid parliament, both the Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun and Dewan Negara president Rais Yatim had all said they were studying the idea.

He said he had expected the “bloated Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s cabinet” to shoot down Hamzah’s “bizarre idea” when Hamzah repeated it yesterday.

“So, when Hamzah repeated his bizarre idea yesterday, we have to take his proposition more seriously.”

The veteran DAP lawmaker said the government has expressed confidence that it could achieve herd immunity by the end of the year but has not revealed its timeline as to how this herd immunity is to be achieved.

“When Muhyiddin or Khairy Jamaluddin is talking about achieving herd immunity, they are referring to vaccinating 80% of the adult population which is very different from 80% of the population.

“At present, the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) only aims to vaccinate those above the age of 18. But this category represents only about 65% of the population.

TMI

“This means that even if (and this is a very big IF) we reach 80% of the adult population, it only represents some 52% of the population – a long way from the required 80% of the population required to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19,” said the 80-year-old.

“I suspect this is the reason why neither Muhyiddin nor Khairy is prepared to unveil the government’s timeline to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19, for nobody knows whether we will ever achieve vaccination rate of 80% of the Malaysian population – as distinct from 80% of the population over 18 years old.” – TMI