MPs to be transported to Parliament by an ambulance and held in a special room before they join the voting session
pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
MEMBERS of Parliament (MPs) who are placed under the home surveillance order can attend sittings during the voting sessions with strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the Health Ministry.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said the MPs will be transported to the Parliament building by an ambulance and will be held in a special room before they join the voting session through the public gallery area.
They are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) once inside the building and would have to don a new set of PPE if they wish to join the voting session.
Azhar said three MPs had requested to be present during voting. They were Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (Perikatan Nasional-Kuala Pilah), Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan (Barisan Nasional-Tapah) and P Prabakaran (PKR-Batu).
“We have been loosening the SOPs for the meetings, especially during voting where we allowed all MPs to come in.
“The tellers and observers for each of the MPs’ bloc must wear a face shield during counting. These are the SOPs instructed by Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah,” he replied to Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen (DAP-Bandar Kuching) who questioned the decision.
Other Opposition MPs also took a turn to press Azhar on the matter with Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman (Warisan-Sepanggar) claiming that the three MPs’ presence would risk other members of the house, as well as their families.
Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar (PKR-Kuala Langat) was also seen pressing the speaker, to which Azhar replied, the new decision was based on the irresponsible move by some Opposition MPs who previously joined the debate session while observing home quarantine and without taking precautionary measures.
His reply sparked fury among the left side of the divide, causing almost all Opposition to stage a walkout.
On Sunday, Azhar told Bernama that several MPs have been placed under home quarantine after being in close contact with Covid-19-positive individuals.
He revealed that Dr Adham was ordered for home quarantine until Dec 18 after being in contact with a media practitioner who was tested positive.
Saravanan was also put under home quarantine since last Friday after having a meeting with a senior officer from the Human Resources Development Fund who had tested positive for Covid-19.