Wednesday, August 4, 2021

MPs plan the ‘storming’ of Parliament?

Several opposition MPs say they have been informed of the plan, with efforts ongoing to contact others as well.

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A group of opposition MPs are planning to gather at the Parliament building in a bid to push for a Dewan Rakyat sitting during the emergency period, MalaysiaNow has learnt.

At least three MPs from Pakatan Harapan (PH) have said that they were informed of the plan, with efforts underway to contact other opposition blocs.

MalaysiaNow has also been informed that several options are being considered to thwart any move to stop them from gathering at the Parliament building.

This includes insisting that Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin hold a briefing for MPs at the Parliament on the government’s Covid-19 vaccination drive.

Khairy had earlier written to PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim, asking him to set a date and venue for a briefing for key leaders of the coalition about the national immunisation programme.

PH leaders however are insisting that the briefing be delivered to all MPs, including those outside the coalition.

“This was something we conveyed to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun during a meeting last week,” said a senior MP.

“They are at the moment gearing up efforts to contact all MPs, saying they have more than a hundred on their side,” the MP added.

Meanwhile, it is believed that PH officials have been told to inform local and foreign media outlets when the gathering takes place.

“It is important for the event to get maximum coverage. The sight of MPs being locked out of Parliament will be a godsent news,” an MP from a northern state told MalaysiaNow.

PH leaders have been stepping up a demand for the Dewan Rakyat to convene during the emergency, ever since Istana Negara released a statement last month clarifying its powers under the emergency ordinance.

The palace had said that the Agong could allow Parliament to convene at a suitable date during the state of emergency if recommended by the prime minister.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Takiyuddin Hassan recently said there is no plan to call for a parliamentary sitting at the moment as the government is focused on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The remarks drew strong criticism from Anwar, in a statement almost identical to another issued by Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

BN has since revoked the statement.

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