Dewan Rakyat Session Cut Short After Staff Members Test Positive For COVID-19

The Parliament sitting will resume at 10am tomorrow, 3 November.

Cover image via NST Online (YouTube)

The Parliament sitting today, 2 November, has been cut short after several Dewan Negara staff members tested positive for COVID-19

In light of that, de facto Law Minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the sitting will be adjourned at 1pm today and set to resume at 10am tomorrow, 3 November, reported New Straits Times.

Takiyuddin said the decision was made following a meeting among Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, party whips, and representatives from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 12(1) was invoked to make adjournment possible, which stipulates, "A Minister may without notice move at any time a motion to be decided without amendment or debate to vary the time of sitting of the House."

De facto Law Minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.

Image via @redzuanNewsMPB (Twitter)

Takiyuddin added the group decided that the Lower House of the Parliament is required to adapt new norms during the sitting

He assured that the new rules will not infringe on the rights of Members of Parliament (MPs) to ask questions, debate, and vote.

"[The] Parliament personnel will prepare administrative procedures that would include taking attendance (of MPs) as well as entry-and-exit registry," the Kota Bahru MP told the Dewan Rakyat.

"Party leaders will be given instructions from time to time."

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said new standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be made known to fellow MPs and staff members soon

In a tweet, Ismail said the SOPs that are in place for now include mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for MPs from Sabah before being present in Parliament, and only the MP and two officers are allowed at the sitting.

According to another report by New Straits Times, other SOPs include taking the temperature of every attendee at the entrance to the Parliament building and mandatory COVID-19 testing three days before attending Parliament.

Staff members and MPs are also required to put on a face mask and observe physical distancing of at least 1m at all times.

Remember to limit your movement and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

In August, transparent barriers were installed in the Dewan Rakyat to help avoid any close contact among MPs:

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