Speaker says can’t control MPs beyond Parliament after fears of infections from courthouse crowd

Several MPs participated in the gathering outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Harun today said he had no right to control the movement of MPs once they are outside of Parliament, following concerns raised over the possible spread of Covid-19 in the house after several lawmakers participated in a large gathering outside the court complex here yesterday.

The concerns were raised by RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) who noted the involvement of some MPs in the crowd awaiting former prime minister Najib Razak’s verdict in the SRC International case.

Rayer said Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong Karang) had worn a face mask at the gathering but “several others did not”.

Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) had also declared that he was part of the gathering outside the High Court yesterday.

Rayer asked if MPs who failed to wear a face mask should be quarantined.

“I went to a coffee shop and people are asking if the rules (SOPs) only apply to ordinary Malaysian citizens… what about the MPs from the government bench?” he asked.

Azhar said it was not known whether those who gathered at the courthouse “had infected the MPs who were present”. As such, he said, he could not stop them from entering the Dewan unless they presented symptoms.

“I advise them to follow SOPs,” he added.

When asked by Mohd Hatta Ramli (PH-Lumut) if swabs tests would be administered for MPs who were at the gathering, Azhar said it would be up to the health ministry to decide.