KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — After the “heated” first week of Parliament sitting, members of the august house seemed to be more focus during the second week, raising issues that concerned the people, despite the heated arguments and verbal exchange during the debate session.
Among topics that sparked heated arguments during the sitting this week was when Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said stopped Ramkarpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Geluor) from playing an audio in the august house.
Ramkarpal Singh had insisted on playing the audio, saying that his late father, Karpal Singh, did play the audio recording in the Dewan Rakyat when he was the Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament a few years ago.
The debate on the motion of the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong since Monday until yesterday saw the participation of 78 parliamentary members from the government backbenchers, the opposition and independent.
A proposal by Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (BN-Padang Rengas) for a new electoral system to be introduced where voters will choose a party instead of an individual candidate to solve the party hopping issue, also caught the attention of the house.
During the sitting this week, the parliamentary members also touched on the appointment and salary of chairmen of government-linked companies (GLC), the possible cancellation of the sale of TH Plantations Bhd’s assets and on film production license and filming certificate which must be applied for all production of films and recording, regardless whether they are media agencies or individual media outlets, including for social media platforms.
The Dewan Rakyat was also told on the development on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) connecting Johor Bahru and Singapore, where construction work is expected to begin next year and the system is expected to be operational at the end of 2026.
This week’s Parliament sitting also saw the Supplementary Supply Bill (2019) 2020 and the Supply Bill (Reallocation of Expenditure Allocation) 2020 tabled for the first time.
The government also gave its commitment to implement the fifth (5G) communication technology.
The third national car project was also raised by the parliamentary members,with the government assuring that the Bumiputera company which was given the responsibility to develop the project would collaborate with Malaysian Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute to make the project a success.
Issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic were also raised, particularly on the ceiling price of face mask, which has been lowered to RM1.20 per unit, effective Aug 15, from RM1.50 each currently.
Apart from that, the government also clarified on the proposed formulation of a bill on Implementation of Temporary Measures to Reduce Impact of COVID-19, which among others, will create room and opportunities for recovery process of individuals and companies affected by the pandemic.
This week sitting also saw issues relating to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) raised again by Members of Parliament from the two states, as well as on the demand by East Malaysia to be given one-third of the 222 parliamentary seats.
When the Parliament sitting continues this Monday, members will continue the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.