PH: Rep to Meet Dewan Rakyat Speaker to Suggest Parliamentary Sitting of at Least Two Days

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A representative of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council will seek to meet Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof soon to suggest an extension to the May 18 Parliament sitting.

The council, after alleging that the announcement made by the Dewan Rakyat secretary last week for the sitting to last for only a day had in itself breached Parliamentary rules, then suggested the sitting be held for at least two days.

It said that technological alternatives, emulating lawmakers in United Kingdom, Canada, and even Singapore, could be used, with some MPs allowed into the Lower House and others participating through video conferencing.

The council, in a statement today, said parliamentary rules could be amended to allow this option, pointing out the role of parliamentarians as pillars of democracy and a check and balance.

“The presidential council objects to the decision not to allow Oral Answers and Motions be submitted, as mentioned by the Dewan Rakyat secretary.

“The council also objects to limiting the session to only a day, because debates and discussions concerning the government’s efforts in containing the Covid-19 outbreak must be given special attention by Parliament.

“We suggest that the sitting be held for at least two days, aside from the officiating of (this year’s) Parliament (sitting), to allow extensive and detailed debates and discussions,” read the statement.

The council raised these points in a statement undersigned by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

“Hence, the presidential council will be immediately sending a representative of Pakatan Harapan to have a meeting with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to discuss the aforementioned matters,” it read. – MMO