Najib mocks five-day Parliament sitting, says no real work will get done

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Najib Razak today mocked the government for allowing the Dewan Rakyat to convene for only five days later this month, saying that many important issues would be left undebated as a result.

“The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is such a coward. They have no regard for the Agong’s and Malay Rulers’ decree.

Bernama

“After eight months of not convening, they just reopened the Parliament for five days,” he said in a Facebook posting.

He said that the allocated five days would be taken up by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s opening remarks on the first day, and the remaining four days would feature debates on how the sitting can be conducted in a hybrid manner.

“After that we will only table the motion of the emergency proclamation and ordinances before us.

“In fact, the National Recovery Plan must be debated, the aid for the people must be debated, and efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic must be scrutinised.

“The emergency ordinances must be debated, we must look at their implementation in the past seven months, and then vote to approve them,” he added.

He also joked that many people would want the job of a Member of Parliament as they could rest for eight months, and for five days of work, only need to listen to briefings and discuss on virtual sittings.

“After that, can continue with resting,” said the former prime minister.

Earlier today, the Prime Minister’s Office said that the Dewan Rakyat will convene for five days, while the Dewan Negara will sit for three days, later this month.

In a statement, the PMO said the government has agreed to advise Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to summon the Dewan Rakyat for a special meeting from July 26 to July 29 and on August 2.

It said the Dewan Negara will sit for a similar special meeting from August 3 to August 5.

“The meetings are to inform MPs of the government’s Covid-19 recovery plan and make changes to the laws to allow for hybrid meetings,” the statement said.

This came about after the Agong, in a message to the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara heads, reiterated his earlier decree that Parliament should convene “as soon as possible”.

In a statement on June 29, Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the Agong had conveyed this to lower house speaker Azhar Azizan Harun and upper house president Rais Yatim during the audience that morning.

On June 16, after a Conference of Rulers meeting, the king decreed that Parliament should convene as soon as possible to debate the emergency ordinances and on the government’s efforts to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

In a separate statement, the Conference of Rulers decreed that emergency should not be extended beyond August 1.

The Parliament has been suspended after the government announced an emergency on January 11 to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The emergency is to end on August 1.

Muhyiddin’s critics have claimed that he was avoiding Parliament for fear of losing power as he only enjoyed a very small majority. – TMI