KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council has once again called for a special parliamentary sitting to discuss the Covid-19 crisis after PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recent meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
On the heels of that, PH said that it is suggesting that a meeting take place between Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, a government representative and PH chief secretary Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution to discuss this matter immediately.
“The (PH) presidential council believes that a special parliamentary session on Covid-19 is appropriate and should be done before May 18, 2020 unlike what was previously announced. This is because of the checks and balances process that is an indispensable pillar of democracy, including during our fight against Covid-19.
“If the government refuses to hold a special parliamentary session, the presidential council is of the view that the May 18 meeting needs to be held for at least two days to give members of the House the opportunity to discuss issues related to the outbreak,” said the PH presidential council in a statement today.
The statement was signed by Anwar, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
The presidential council said that the Parliamentary Rules Committee, with the advice of and under orders from the Ministry of Health, should also convene meetings immediately to discuss the steps that need to be taken to adjust the Standing Orders as well as to ensure the safety of MPs and parliamentary staff, including the option of doing an online sitting as has been done in other countries.
On Tuesday, Anwar said he met Muhyiddin at the prime minister’s office to discuss the government’s efforts at containing the outbreak, including economic stimulus packages to cushion the impact on Malaysia’s economy.
PH has called for a special parliamentary sitting several times, saying that a bipartisan approach is needed to combat the outbreak which has now infected over two million people worldwide.
Malaysia has been observing the movement control order (MCO) since March 18 which has halted outdoor activities except of essential services in an effort to flatten the Covid-19 curve that has seen over 5,000 individuals in the country infected and left 83 dead.