Malaysian Dewan Negara special sitting postponed due to coronavirus risk

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – The special Malaysian Dewan Negara sitting scheduled from tomorrow to August 5 has now also been postponed until further notice.

According to a notice issued by Dewan Negara Secretary Muhd Sujairi Abdullah to senate members, the office of the Dewan Negara president was notified by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on the postponement in accordance with Standing Order 10(3) of the Dewan Negara.

He said the postponement was in line with Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s recommendation as well as a risk assessment done by the Health Ministry (MoH) on the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“This is following latest developments pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the MoH was of the view that Parliament is a locality at risk for possible transmissions,” the notice read.

According to a notice issued yesterday by Dewan Rakyat Secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin to all Dewan Rakyat members, the Speaker’s Office was told by Muhyiddin to postpone the sitting in line with Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 11(3).

Dr Noor Hisham, in a statement on Friday, said 11 positive COVID-19 cases were detected in Parliament when the sitting was in progress with 10 cases detected via the antigen rapid test kit (RTK-Ag) using saliva while another was tested via the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) screening.

On July 28, Dr Noor Hisham confirmed that a total of 56 positive cases were detected in a screening test conducted between July 21 and 25 for the Special Sitting of the Dewan Rakyat, while the screening test conducted last Thursday found that 11 more individuals tested positive.

Ismail Sabri also said that the MoH, at a special meeting he attended before the conference, had suggested that the parliament sitting be postponed, or otherwise be conducted with the conditions of shortening the time and reducing the attendance to only 80 people, but the opposition disagreed.