KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — The Parliament has adequate facilities to implement a hybrid Dewan Rakyat sitting at anytime if necessary.
Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon said the Parliament was also in the process of finalising other technical aspects required.
“Of course we are prepared and the existing facilities are adequate, we are making additions to implement it (a hybrid sitting),” he told Bernama here.
He said till now there has not been a set date for the Dewan Rakyat to convene and it will follow the Standing Orders that set the need to provide a 28-day notice before a sitting can convene.
“We leave it to the discretion of the Leader of the House for its implementation,” he said.
He said the implementation of a hybrid Parliament sitting is a new norm and it was not impossible that it would go down as a historical moment for Malaysia as it faces the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It also represents a new challenge for the Speaker as we will be dealing with monitors to look at MPs,” he said.
Mohd Rashid said if a hybrid Dewan Rakyat sitting does happen, there will be several Standing Orders that require amendments, including the voting process, and all amendments required will be included as an addendum to the existing Standing Orders.
“One more example, the Parliament refers to the Federal Constitution Article 62 Parliamentary Procedure.
“In 62(5) it is stated that members who do not attend a Parliamentary sitting are not allowed to vote. But if we refer to 62(1) it is subject to this Parliamentary provision and provisions of federal laws, that every Parliamentary sitting needs to regulate its own protocols,” he said.
When asked about how many MPs need to be present in the Dewan Rakyat if the amendments are to be passed, Mohd Rashid said the minimum number for a quorum is 26 MPs.
Previously, the Dewan Rakyat (with the Speaker’s ruling) had set a maximum of 80 MPs (in the Dewan Rakyat) but the actual total and method are still at the final stages of discussion.