While deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said (right) wants Parliament to reconvene, speaker Azhar Harun says only the government can decide on the matter.

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst has suggested that the opposition promise it will not move a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin if Parliament is reconvened.

Speaking to FMT, Azmi Hassan said this might pressure the government to call for a Dewan Rakyat sitting.

“It’s clear the people want Parliament to be opened,” he said. “The relevant ministers need to reply to questions about the Covid-19 situation. The people are waiting for answers.

“It is also clear that the government may need extra hands in handling the pandemic.”

Among the issues that urgently need to debated, he said, were the slow vaccination rate, the almost vertical surge in infections, the capacity of intensive care units (ICUs), mental health, employment, the economy, education and the way to move forward from the pandemic.

He alleged that Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Harun had failed to give a clear reason for not allowing Parliament to be reconvened.

Last Monday, a news report quoted Azhar as saying it was up to the government to decide whether Parliament could sit. He cited Article 40 of the Federal Constitution to defend his stand.

“The one who convenes a sitting of Parliament is the Yang diPertuan Agong, but acting upon the advice of the prime minister,” he said.

Azhar was apparently responding to his deputy, Azalina Othman Said, who was quoted last week as saying the lockdown should not cripple democracy.

She said denying the rights of MPs to engage with the government meant denying the rights of the people.

Political scientist Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya (UM) said debates were needed because the number of Covid-19 cases were surging.

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“The people want answers to their problems,” he told FMT. “The only way forward is for the government not to get too defensive.”

Last year, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim of Pakatan Harapan asked the prime minister when the 26 motions of no confidence against his leadership and two motions of confidence would be tabled and debated.




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