By Yasmin Ahmad Zukiman
KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah is scheduled to officiate the opening of the First Meeting of the Fourth Session of the 14th Parliament on Monday, the first under the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The meeting to be held two days after the 62nd anniversary of Parliament is set to focus on issues relating to the country’s recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the aid packages to provide relief to the people.
The meeting which will last for 17days until Oct 12, following the subside of the political temperature with the formation of a new government under Ismail Sabri, will also see the election of a new Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker to replace Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said who had resigned.
So far, two names have been mentioned as nominees, namely Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, who is the candidate from the government bloc and Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming who is Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate.
If there are two nominees, the assembly session will on Tuesday, a day after its opening, see 220 MPs voting to elect the deputy speaker.
Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon has confirmed that the process of selecting the new deputy speaker has been included in the Order Paper on Tuesday.
“If more than one candidate is nominated the matter would be put to a vote.
“So far, we have received the names as lawmakers have been given 14 days to submit their candidates’ names before the voting date,” he told Bernama.
In addition, the focus is also on the possibility of a motion related to the legitimacy of the Prime Minister being brought at this session.
However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had earlier said that there was no need to cast a vote on a motion of confidence on the Prime Minister at the Dewan Rakyat sitting to determine the validity of his appointment.
According to Wan Junaidi, as the provisions of the Federal Constitution stipulate that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the discretionary power to appoint the prime minister, as such, the appointment of Ismail Sabri is in accordance with the law.
According to the Parliamentary sitting calendar uploaded on the official website of the Parliament of Malaysia, apart from the motion of thanks for the Royal Address, also on the list is the tabling of the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK12) for the period 2021-2025 by the government, scheduled on Sept 27.
Members of the Dewan Rakyat will take part in the motion of thanks and debate on the Royal Address for four days starting on Sept 14, followed by the reply session by the relevant ministers on Sept 22 and 23, according to the calendar.
The 12MP debate session will begin on Sept 28 until Oct 4, before the reply session by the relevant ministers.
The last two days of the sitting on Oct 11 and 12 will be on Bills and other government matters.
Meanwhile, the Dewan Negara sitting which will be officiated simultaneously with the Dewan Rakyat sitting will take place from Oct 4 to 26.
To minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection in Parliament, Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun had earlier said that various initiatives were conducted, including the installation of ultra violet air filters at the main hall of Parliament as well as using nano technology in offices to kill bacteria and virus.
He said this puts the level of ventilation in Parliament on par with that of a hospital.