Govt explains delay in tabling Covid-19 bill

De facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan says the Covid-19 bill aims to help economic recovery and looks at various stimulus packages implemented by the government.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government today gave their side of the story on the delay in tabling the Covid-19 bill in the Dewan Rakyat, saying they needed time to discuss with all stakeholders on the “unprecedented bill that deals with unprecedented times”.

De facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said the bill involves a compromise between opposite parties of rentals and owners, buyers and sellers, creditors and debtors.

“That is why we took time to draft the bill.

“We are facing unprecedented times and the Covid-19 bill is also unprecedented,” he said while wrapping up on the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Bill 2020.

Takiyuddin Hassan

He said the bill aims to help economic recovery and looks at various stimulus packages implemented by the government.

The Kota Bahru MP said the bill covers 58 items and instructions which includes stamp duty, tax revenues and remittance fees, among others.

The PAS MP said Putrajaya had been discussing and planning the bill since April but needed time to discuss with the many stakeholders including ministries, agencies, civil societies, NGOs, Bank Negara Malaysia and the private sector.

On opposition MPs stating that Singapore had discussed the bill way back in April, Takiyuddin said he was made to understand that Singapore has made at least 10 amendments to the bill since May.

For instance, he said unlike Malaysia, Singapore had assessors and are now in the midst of implementing the concept of mediators, while Malaysia will have mediators to deal with contracts.

Ong Kian Ming (PH-Bangi) replied that the amendments made by the Singapore government in June was to give out additional two months rental relief to SMEs and landlords.

Earlier, during the debate, opposition MPs said the Covid-19 bill was “too little too late” to reduce the impact on many retailers who had to close their businesses for failing to pay rent and jobless Malaysians who had been evicted by their landlords since the MCO began in mid-March.

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