12MP passed, two more days left for first meeting of fourth session of 14th parliament

12MP passed, two more days left for first meeting of fourth session of 14th parliament

KUALA LUMPUR: The fourth week of the Dewan Rakyat sitting witnessed the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), the country’s new five-year plan, being approved by the house after it was debated for four days, followed by the winding-up session by 27 ministries.

A total of 106 Members of Parliament (MPs) from the government and opposition blocs took part in the debate on the 12MP, which is for the period from 2021 to 2025 after it was tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Sept 27.

The winding up session began last Tuesday, with the participation of all ministries in replying to issues raised by the MPs when they debated the 12MP.

Among the highlights was the country’s future in vaccine development when Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba told the House that Malaysia could become a vaccine producer within 10 years through the National Vaccine Development Roadmap to be launched soon.

For a start, the Tenggara Member of Parliament said a national vaccine centre would be set up, to be known as the Malaysian Genome and Vaccine Institute (MGVI).

The Dewan Rakyat was also informed of the senior citizens act, whereby a study on its enactment had been completed, towards preparing Malaysia to become an ageing nation by 2030.

The Act aims to protect the rights and welfare of senior citizens in terms of care, protection, empowerment and support, encompassing the family institution and the community.

Issues pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic are also still a concern, where the house was informed that a Letter of Acceptance was issued by the government to three companies to supply COVID-19 self-screening test kits for schools on Sept 13, involving a total contract value of RM9.72 million.

The delivery of the self-screening test kits have been completed by the companies to 140 district education offices and state education departments nationwide on Sept 25 in preparation for the school re-opening session from October to December this year.

The MPs were also informed that the government had no problem to allow private companies to offer Internet and telecommunication services through satellite technology provided it is offered at a reasonable price to the people.

Generally, the Dewan Rakyat sitting this week went calmly, with only a few rare moments of commotion, especially when some MPs questioned Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun about Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s position as she was still invited as temporary Deputy Speaker.

The issue arose when Azalina, who resigned as Deputy Speaker on Aug 23, was appointed Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (Law and Human Rights), and Azhar explained that the matter was not an issue as Azalina’s appointment did not carry a ministerial status, which meant she was not part of the administration or the executive.

A related issue that stole the spotlight was when Pontian Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan withdrew his nomination for the post of Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker.

There were also issues outside Parliament that got the attention of the MPs, including on the Pandora Papers and the political crisis in Melaka.

Meanwhile, the National Trust Fund (KWAN) (Amendment) Bill 2021 was tabled for the first reading this week.The current Dewan Rakyat sitting is for 17 days until Oct 12.– BERNAMA