Friday, June 18, 2021

Youngest MP in trouble for breaching health SOPs

Calls arise for P Prabakaran to be referred to Parliament's Rights and Privileges Committee for endangering the health of others in the Dewan Rakyat.

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MPs from the ruling bloc are demanding action against their youngest colleague for attending the Dewan Rakyat last week despite being a close contact of his brother who tested positive for Covid-19.

They said Batu MP P Prabakaran should be referred to Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee as he had endangered the health of others in the building.

Arau MP Shahidan Kasim, who leads the government backbenchers, urged speaker Azhar Harun to treat the matter seriously.

“The action by the health ministry is a separate matter but Parliament itself must refer him to the Rights and Privileges Committee,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Prabakaran, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba and Human Resources Minister M Saravanan had been instructed to undergo quarantine under the health ministry’s home surveillance order for two weeks.

However, Prabakaran attended the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 10.

On Dec 14, following the green light from health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Azhar allowed Prabakaran and the two ministers who were close contacts to Covid-19 patients to attend the Dewan Rakyat under strict SOPs including the use of protective gear and isolation from the other MPs.

This caused Pakatan Harapan MPs to stage a walkout, accusing the speaker of endangering their lives.

Azhar had said it was better for him to regulate the presence of MPs under quarantine so they could attend crucial sessions, rather than to see them breach health SOPs.

Azhar today said he was not aware of Prabakaran’s presence in the Dewan Rakyat last week.

But he said only the health ministry and the National Security Council are empowered to take action against those who breach Covid-19 SOPs.

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