Kit Siang: Set up Emergency ‘Virtual’ Parliament Until MCO Is Over

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Lim Kit Siang has urged the government to consider holding an emergency ‘virtual’ Parliament.

His suggestion comes as Malaysia marks its third week of a government-enforced movement control order (MCO) to break the chain of Covid-19 infections across the country.

Other legislative bodies around the world are contemplating a similar move, as they adapt to the new circumstances caused by Covid-19.

UK newspaper The Guardian reported yesterday that the British government will be setting up a ‘virtual’ Parliament to allow MPs to scrutinise its response to the Covid-19 crisis following demands from Opposition parties.

In a statement, the Iskandar Puteri MP said that a ‘virtual’ sitting is crucial to Malaysia’s current Covid-19 fight as well as its preparations for dealing with the economic aftermath.

Art Chen/The Star

“The Malaysian Parliament should explore the possibility of holding an emergency ‘virtual’ Parliament as it is imperative that Malaysia adopts a ‘whatever it takes’ strategy not only to win the Covid-19 war but to survive the post-coronavirus pandemic economics,” he said.

In his statement, Lim also repeated his call for an economic rescue package for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), saying this group is among the most badly hit by the protracted global war against the pandemic.

“The delay in announcing an economic rescue package for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is an example that the Malaysian government has still to adopt a ‘whatever it takes’ strategy to face the unprecedented crisis confronting the country to both save lives and livelihoods,” he said.

Similarly, other members of the Opposition have been pushing for a special Parliamentary sitting since the MCO came into effect.

Last night, during a special Facebook Live session, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim again stressed that this would allow the performances of Perikatan Nasional Cabinet members, including its deputy ministers, to be evaluated.

The PKR president said this was especially important after he felt that some were not even seen nor heard from amid the Covid-19 pandemic, casting doubt on their credibility to hold the positions. – MMO