Thursday, September 16, 2021

PH warns DG Noor Hisham after Parliament closed over Covid cases

Coalition leaders also warn health ministry officials against 'colluding' with Perikatan Nasional.

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The top three leaders of Pakatan Harapan (PH) have issued a warning to health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, questioning his directive which led to the adjournment of the Dewan Rakyat sitting in the wake of Covid-19 cases reported in the Parliament vicinity.

“We strongly warn Mahiaddin Md Yassin not to use agencies and ministries, including the director-general of health, to close Parliament this Monday,” PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng and Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu said in a statement.

“The director-general of health is also reminded not to allow himself to be manipulated in order to close Parliament and prevent the special sitting as ordered by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.”

They also warned health ministry officials against “colluding with the Perikatan Nasional government in their ploy to deliberately stop the Parliament sitting”.

Dewan Rakyat secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin had earlier informed MPs that the special sitting which was to continue tomorrow had to be postponed to another date, in line with Noor Hisham’s suggestion as well as risk assessments by the health ministry.

On Thursday, Noor Hisham issued a directive that the Parliament building be placed under quarantine following the detection of Covid-19 cases.

The move drew protest from opposition MPs who had been waiting for the government’s explanation following a rare rebuke by Istana Negara over the move to revoke the emergency ordinances.

PH said the rate of positive cases in Parliament was 0.9%, below the 5% threshold set by the World Health Organization.

“This means the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Parliament over the past week is not significant.

“Therefore, Covid-19 cannot and should not be used as an excuse to close or adjourn the sitting of Parliament which was to have continued on Monday, Aug 2, 2021,” the coalition leaders said.

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