‘PM will decide when Parliament sits’

KOTA BARU: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will decide when Parliament can reconvene, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said yesterday.

He said the Emergency Ordinance disallowed Parliament from sitting, so a notice to reconvene could be issued only after the emergency ended.

“The emergency proclamation ends on Aug 1. That’s when the laws on the convening of Parliament come into force again,” Takiyuddin said after attending a Covid-19 outreach programme at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Hall here yesterday.

“The prime minister will decide when it will be suitable to convene Parliament.”

He said the prime minister would inform the Dewan Rakyat speaker, who would notify members of parliament within 28 days.

“That’s in the rules.”

To a question on whether the sitting would be held in a hybrid online and in-person format, Takiyuddin said a hybrid session was an option if a normal physical sitting was not suitable.

He said this was suggested by the Dewan Rakyat speaker to the government.

“In the recent statement issued by the Dewan Rakyat speaker (and Dewan Negara president), a hybrid Parliament sitting is an option only if the sitting could not be (fully) held physically.

“It means that a number of parliamentarians are required to attend in person while the rest will join online.

“(For instance,) several meetings, including the cabinet, were held online.”

Present with Takiyuddin at the event was Kelantan Health director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin.

Takiyuddin said Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun had said they were studying the possibility of holding a hybrid parliamentary sitting.

Rais and Azhar, in a joint statement on Friday, said a hybrid Parliament sitting was expected to be held either at the end of August or the first week of September.

They said the Parliament Special Committee, tasked with looking into a hybrid sitting, had considered all aspects and was ready to convene the hybrid session soon.

The special committee said it expected the legal aspects of reconvening Parliament to be resolved by the end of July, if approved by the House Committee and Standing Orders Committee. – NST

 by Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah

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