Malaysia’s special parliamentary meeting next Monday postponed due to COVID-19 cases in lower house
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s special parliamentary meeting next Monday (Aug 2) will be postponed to a future date due to COVID-19 cases being detected in parliament, said the secretary of the House of Representatives.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Mr Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin said the notice to postpone the meeting was issued by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in line with Standing Order 11(3).
“This postponement is in line with the health director-general's proposal and current risk assessment conducted by the health ministry, as a result of the latest developments regarding COVID-19 spread, where the health ministry is of the opinion that the Malaysian parliament is a locality at risk for the spread of COVID-19,” according to the statement.
“As such, I have been ordered by Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon to deliver this notice to all MPs that the house will not sit on Monday, Aug 2.”
The five-day special parliamentary meeting was supposed to allow the government to brief lawmakers about its COVID-19 response and pave the way for an eventual hybrid parliament sitting. The last day of the meeting was scheduled to take place on Aug 2.
However, the proceedings were overshadowed by an announcement by de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan that the emergency ordinances introduced during the state of emergency had been revoked on Jul 21.
In a rare reprimand, the palace said that the government had revoked the ordinances without the king’s consent. "His Majesty stressed that the minister's statement in the parliament on Jul 26 is not accurate and has misled the MPs,” it said.
The Prime Minister’s Office, however, has maintained that its actions were in accordance with Malaysia’s laws and Constitution.
On Thursday afternoon, the parliament building went into lockdown after it was announced that two COVID-19 cases were detected there. All lawmakers were made to undergo screening while the proceedings were postponed.
The parliament meeting was later adjourned at 5.15pm when the deputy speaker said that two more COVID-19 cases were detected.
Subsequently, health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said 11 COVID-19 cases were detected at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.
Ten of these cases were detected using antigen saliva test kits, while the remaining case was detected through a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, he said.