Pakatan Harapan-led Dewan Rakyat on July 16

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

The first Dewan Rakyat session following the historic 14th General Election will begin on July 16, and it is expected to pave the way for the Pakatan Harapan government to table motions that would see the abolishment of some laws, as pledged in its election manifesto.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Parliament proceedings will begin on July 16 with the initiation of the new Dewan Rakyat speaker, followed by the oath-taking of 222 elected representatives in the august house.

The first meeting of the 14th Dewan Rakyat session would be officially opened by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V on July 17.

“I will be meeting the King soon to inform (him) on the dates and invite His Majesty to open the session on July 17,” he told a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting at Perdana Putra yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said the first meeting will be held for a 20-day sitting that will see the government tabling motions to cancel laws enacted by the previous government, which include the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act 2014 and the Anti-Fake News Act 2018.

“We will definitely be abolishing these draconian laws put in place by the previous administration,” he said.

The government will also re-table a bill to implement the Sales and Services Tax, replacing GST — a broad-based consumption tax.

The new Dewan Rakyat speaker will replace Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, who chaired the house since 2008.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir also announced that the entertainment allowance for senior government servants on grade Jusa A and above will be deducted by 10% effective next month.

“This is part of the government’s austerity drive,” he said.

A team would also be sent to India to study the innovation programmes implemented there, to further improve efficiency in the public sector.

On civil servants, Dr Mahathir said the federal government will introduce an English language competency test for senior civil servants to improve the quality of public services in the country.

He said the Cabinet is aware of the importance of the English language and the need for civil servants, especially senior-ranking officials, to be proficient.

“Senior civil servants must be proficient in the English language because they often have to negotiate with outsiders on matters of government policies,” he explained.