Dewan Rakyat reconvenes today

By P PREM KUMAR

Regulations on e-hailing services, the mass rapid transit (MRT), motor insurance tariff liberalisation and national car-maker Proton Holdings Bhd are expected to be widely debated when the Dewan Rakyat reassembles today.

The august house will sit for the next three weeks to deliberate and pass key laws, which failed to get the nod during the last sitting.

The amendments to the Land Transport Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987 will regulate e-hailing services, officially integrating the app-based services into the country’s public transport system.

Changes to local laws are required to regulate and assimilate the booming Uber and Grab services in the country. The initial deliberation on the amendments was postponed at the eleventh hour of the previous Dewan Rakyat sitting last March.

High on the agenda in today’s sitting will be the second reading of the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2017, which has garnered much public interest. Other social-re- lated issues are the Private Employment Agencies (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Prevention of Crime (Amendment) Bill 2017.

Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak is expected to answer questions on the recently launched MRT from Simpang Renggam MP Datuk Liang Teck Meng.

The PM is expected to explain the MRT impact, construction process without a concession agreement and completion of the project at a lower cost.

Economic issues like the impact of ringgit’s appreciation, moderating crude oil prices, motor insurance tariff liberalisation and people economies are expected to feature prominently in the sitting, which will end on Aug 10.

MPs will also be interested on the national carmaker Proton.

Government’s allocation and assistance to Proton, and the recently sealed strategic foreign partner, China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, will be of national interest.

The controversial Private Member’s Bill to amend Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or Act 355, to enable the implementation of Islamic penal code by states, is the 10th motion to be debated in the current sitting.

The motion was read and explained by Marang MP Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on the last day of previous Dewan Rakyat sitting, despite heavy protest from lawmakers who raised nine “point-of-orders” to prevent the first reading process.

Abdul Hadi’s proposed amendments to Section 2 of Act 355 of the federal law are to increase the current “impris- onment of more than three years or fine of more than RM5,000 or more than six lashes” to “jail term of more than 30 years or fine more than RM100,000 or 100 lashes as administered in line with the Shariah crimes”.

With the impending 14th General Election, MPs from both sides of the divide will use the current sitting to gain public support and boost their standings.