Unwise for PH to call for extended parliament sitting, says Takiyuddin

The PH presidential council has suggested that the Dewan Rakyat sit for at least two days, with some MPs participating through tele-conferencing.

PETALING JAYA: De facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan today said the call by the Pakatan Harapan presidential council to extend the May 18 parliament sitting was “premature, narrow and failed to grasp the priorities of the government and the state” in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement, he said the government made the decision based on current circumstances and developments, especially those involved in controlling and ending the pandemic threat.

It is also looking at helping the rakyat deal with short-term effects of Covid-19.

“Government decisions are also based on the rules and regulations available and there is a need to take into account the needs, views and sentiments of all parties, whether formally or directly, unofficial or otherwise,” he said.

Due to that, the government is not ready to take risks based on the decisions of other countries that have yet to handle the outbreak.

De facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan.

The PH presidential council, on April 23, had said the announcement made by the Dewan Rakyat secretary for the sitting to last for only a day had in itself breached parliamentary rules and suggested the sitting be held for at least two days.

It said technological options, emulating lawmakers in the United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore, could be used, with some MPs allowed into the lower house and others participating through video conferencing.

The council had added that parliamentary rules could be amended to allow this option, pointing out the role of parliamentarians as pillars of democracy and as a check and balance.

Takiyuddin said Putrajaya is not competing to see who is more popular, but looking at effective priorities in dealing with the virus, adding that the government will be guided by the health ministry on this matter.

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