Anwar returns as opposition leader

Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim at the Dewan Rakyat today.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR head Anwar Ibrahim was today confirmed as the new opposition leader at the start of the Dewan Rakyat sitting, with speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof saying the Port Dickson MP holds the majority of support.

“Based on the feedback I received, I am satisfied that Anwar has the support of the opposition members to be appointed as opposition leader,” he said.

He also announced a new seating arrangement to prevent any spread of the Covid-19 virus among MPs, noting that 87 of them are above 60 years old and included in the high-risk group.

In the new arrangement, only 174 MPs will sit in the hall with a space of one meter between one another while backbenchers will sit in the public gallery.

Part of the opposition will also sit in the officers gallery.

Ariff assured those seated in other areas that they would be able to use the microphones prepared for them, saying they also have the option of going to the arranged area to raise questions or debates.

At this, Anwar urged him to install temporary microphones so that MPs sitting in the public gallery and officers area would be heard.

Bung Moktar Radin (PN-Kinabatangan) agreed, saying MPs seated in the public gallery might trip and fall when heading to the microphone.

However, Ariff said Parliament was doing its best to implement the new norms to ward off any spread of Covid-19.

MPs were also informed that Dewan Negara had passed the anti-fake news law without amendments.

The controversial act would see those convicted of spreading news deemed as fake jailed for up to six years and fined up to RM500,000.

The bill to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act was passed in August 2018, but it hit a roadblock after the senate rejected it late last year.

Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.