PETALING JAYA, Nov 6: Pejuang has slammed a ruling that only 80 of the 222 MPs will be allowed in the Dewan Rakyat at any one time from tomorrow, and accused the government of taking the “easy way out” by not conducting virtual sessions.
A statement by Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the three other MPs in his new party said the decision to limit the number of MPs to prevent the spread of Covid-19 had no basis.
This as the Dewan Rakyat had convened during the pandemic before with SOPs such as translucent barriers between MPs and seats placed further apart.
“As an alternative, the sittings can be conducted virtually to ensure they are run smoothly without hindering the MPs from debating,” said Pejuang in a statement.
“The rakyat have been told to find alternative ways to work or work online, but the government itself is taking the easy way out.”
The government last month ordered workers in the public and private sectors in states under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) to work from home in view of the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Stating that they were not consulted before the decision was made to limit the number of MPs, Pejuang said the elected representatives’ involvement in tomorrow’s tabling of the budget would help ensure accountability.
In announcing the ruling today, deputy speaker Rashid Hasnon said 41 of the 80 MPs will be from Perikatan Nasional (PN) and the rest from the opposition and independents.
Pejuang’s four MPs form an independent block.
Sittings will be held from 10am to 2pm from Monday to stop the spread of Covid-19 in Parliament after seven Parliament staff members tested positive for Covid-19.