Malaysia

No ‘medical’ reason now for Parliament to be suspended



With MPs vaccinated, they have herd immunity of their own, hence there’s no need to fear a sitting with all MPs present, says Dzulkefly Ahmad. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A former health minister said there is no “medical” excuse to prolong the suspension of Parliament as MPs have all been vaccinated.

“We have herd immunity of our own,” Dzulkefly Ahmad told FMT this evening.

He was asked to comment on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah’s statement asking for Parliament to reconvene as soon as possible.

The Kuala Selangor MP said the fact that elected representatives had been inoculated also throws the idea of a hybrid parliament out the window.

Dzulkefly, who is Amanah strategic director, went on to explain that the Pfizer vaccine which a majority of MPs were inoculated with, had prevented the MPs from getting Covid-19 by 95%.

It also prevented them from transmitting the virus by 90-97%, he added.

Dzulkefly said that while vaccination did not guarantee that an individual would not be infected, those who were inoculated would not suffer a severe case of Covid-19, requiring hospitalisation or causing death.

“In that sense, we are all protected. So there are no excuses at all,” he said, adding that MPs should be encouraged to practise the “3Cs” and “3Ws”.

The 3Cs are to avoid crowded places, confined spaces and close conversations, while the 3Ws are to wash hands, wear face masks and warn self.

Meanwhile, Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy, a think tank, said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun should not hide behind the health director-general on this issue.

His task is to facilitate the convening of the parliamentary session and find a way to make it happen, its chief executive Azrul Khalib said.

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He went on to say that if need be, a hybrid sitting could still be conducted, pointing out that the United Kingdom and Singapore have been having their parliament sittings for more than a year.

Malaysia, he said, should learn from them.

“In this instance, the question should be: ‘How can we make the convening of Parliament sessions safe?’ and not ‘Should Parliament meet?’”

Azrul said the speaker should work with the health ministry to make a Parliament sitting happen.



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