Highlights at Parliament’s sixth week sitting

Highlights at Parliament’s sixth week sitting

KUALA LUMPUR: Though the meeting was held for only two days, the sixth week of the Dewan Rakyat sitting was arguably one of the most significant so far.

Firstly, it saw the additional budget of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to finance among other things, the newly created ministries, being approved.

Secondly, when the Supply (Reallocation of Appropriated Expenditure) Bill 2020 was passed through a bloc voting, indirectly, this showed the amount of support for the government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the Prime Minister.

A total of 111 MPs voted for the bill, 106 were against it, while five were absent during the proceedings.

This is the second Dewan Rakyat bloc voting to be held under the PN government which had the support of the majority and was passed.

The first bloc voting which received the support of the majority was Muhyiddin’s motion for previous speaker, Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, to vacate his post which received 111 votes versus 109 against the move.

For the first time too, this week saw the voting process being extended, after speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun announced a 10-minute break to allow enough time for members of Parliament to be present in the sitting during the voting process.

This week also saw the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Covid-19) 2020 Act bill tabled for the second reading, which will continue to be debated before winding up this Monday.

The bill, among others, seeks to obtain approval for the application of supplementary allocation of RM45 billion to finance programmes under the stimulus and economic recovery plans.

The sitting this week, was also no less dramatic when certain hot topics were debated.

Tension ran high between the lawmakers when the subject of betrayal among political parties and their members, was raised especially by MPs of the opposition bloc, when debating the Supply (Reallocation of Appropriated Expenditure) Bill 2020.

The issue of betrayal was brought up in almost every debate of the bill, causing deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, to remind all present that the issue to be debated was the Supply Bill.

The issue on Covid-19 was also raised and some members of Parliament proposed that those who are required to undergo mandatory home quarantine, should use wristbands installed with the GPS system.

It was also highlighted that a minister, believed to have gone overseas, did not undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period on returning home.

The matter was raised by Teresa Kok (PH-Seputeh), who claimed that the minister who made an unofficial trip to Turkey from July 3 to 7, had attended the Dewan Rakyat sitting on July 13. — Bernama