Budget 2021 to be tabled as usual

Virtual Parliament session is not feasible because voting must be made in Parliament itself, says Ismail Sabri

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by BERNAMA

THE Budget 2021 will be tabled as usual in the Dewan Rakyat although there is a call for it to be presented virtually.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) said a virtual session was proposed following concerns over possible infection in the Dewan Rakyat after several Dewan Negara staff members tested positive for Covid-19.

“Although there are suggestions for a virtual session, it is not feasible because the voting must be made in Parliament itself,” he said in his daily briefing yesterday.

As for the upcoming Deepavali celebration, Ismail Sabri said the government is expected to announce tweaked standard operating procedures based on recommendations by the Health Ministry (MoH) and the National Security Council soon.

Meanwhile, the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in Kepayan Prison and its Taman Mat Salleh prison quarters in Kampung Matambai will be extended for another 14 days from Nov 3 to Nov 16, 2020.

“As of Nov 1, the total number of positive Covid-19 cases involving the locality was 1,671 cases while the number of those screened was 3,509 people including prisoners, officers, staff and their family members,” he said.

The EMCO in both Kampung Saguking Laut and Kampung Sebor Laut will end today following a decrease in positive cases in the area.

However, the two localities are still subject to the Conditional MCO in Labuan which is still in force.

In some EMCO localities in Sabah, Ismail Sabri said a few amendments have been made, which include allowing a representative from each house to leave the area with police’s permission specifically to withdraw money from bank machines and purchase necessities as well as non-food items.

“The market is also allowed to operate twice a week from 6am to 2pm. However, these amendments do not apply to prisons and temporary detention centres in Sabah,” he said.

On the advice of MoH, the EMCO will be implemented at the Health Ministry Training Institutes in Johor Baru from Nov 3 to Nov 16, which will involve a total of 1,559 trainees, staff as well as family members and support workers.

On Nov 1, Ismail Sabri said 538 individuals were arrested, with 531 individuals compounded and seven remanded.

Among the offences included not wearing face masks (136), failure to maintain physical distancing (82), failure to provide record customer details (80) and entertainment activities (78).

A total of 7,701 supermarkets, 4,712 restaurants, 1,511 hawkers, 2,202 public and farmers’ markets, 333 places of worship, and 1,255 places of leisure were inspected.

On Ops Benteng, the authorities arrested four illegal immigrants and one tekong (agent), and managed to seize one boat and eight vehicles.

Approximately 22 sanitation operations were conducted in eight red zones, nine yellow zones and two green zones in 11 states, bringing the country’s sanitation operations to 11,001 covering 137 zones since March 30.

“From July 24 to Nov 1, a total of 59,629 individuals returned home through international border entrances.

“Of that number, 10,111 individuals were undergoing compulsory quarantine at 63 hotels and 19 other premises,” said Ismail Sabri.

He added that 381 individuals were taken to hospital for treatment while 49,137 individuals were allowed to return home.