Nothing but 5 days of ‘ministers’ explanations’ on Parliament schedule

Several MPs criticised the schedule, which shows that all the days are slated for ministers to provide explanations.

Several MPs have criticised the proceedings planned for the highly anticipated parliamentary sitting beginning on July 26, after it emerged that the session would comprise nothing but five days of “explanations from ministers”.

Photos of the schedule for the five-day sitting that were posted on social media show that all five days have been slated for the cabinet ministers to provide explanations.

Among the MPs who criticised the schedule is Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who described it as a disgrace.

“What is the Parliament’s function if MPs with their salaries in the tens of thousands only need to show up and hear ‘ministers’ explanations’? Where is our right to speak up and vote?

“We have been in lockdown for months but (Covid-19) cases still exceed 13,000. I’m paid by the rakyat; I must bring their voice,” Syed Saddiq said on Twitter last night.

Pekan MP Najib Abdul Razak questioned whether the government has trouble understanding the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree.

He noted that the Agong had decreed on June 16 that Parliament should convene as soon as possible to debate the National Recovery Plan and the Emergency Ordinances.

“If you just want to convene Parliament and give briefings for five consecutive days, then might as well record a video and upload it for us to watch on YouTube,” Najib said on Facebook on Thursday.

Earlier that day, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun said the sitting from July 26 until Aug 2 is a “special sitting” and that a full sitting would be held from Sept 6 to 30. The Agong would officiate the sitting on Sept 6.

This would be followed by another sitting from Oct 25 to Dec 16.

Some MPs have already expressed concern that the July 26 sitting would merely be a procedural session to comply with the ruler’s demand, without any substantive debate – a concern that is likely to grow in light of the schedule.

Parti Pejuang Tanahair Malaysia (Pejuang) chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad had criticised the sitting as essentially a façade, and his party would reconsider its attendance at the sitting if no debates and motions are allowed.


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