One-day sitting of Parliament on May 18 must be reconsidered by Muhyiddin as Parliament should not be shunted off, emasculated or marginalised but must play a major role in galvanising national unity and solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as providing scrutiny to ensure the most effective strategy to overcome Covid-19 crisis and the best exit plan for economic recovery
The global Covid-19 pandemic surges on, surpassing 2.2 million mark for confirmed cases and over 153,000 fatalities, with United States and United Kingdom as the two leading epicentres of the pandemic.
In the past 24 hours, there was an increase of 22,664 new cases to reach a total of 700,234 cases and an increase of 2,305 new deaths to reach a total death toll of 36,922 deaths in the United States, while there was an increase of 5,599 new cases to reach a total of 108,692 cases and an increase of 847 deaths to reach a total death toll of 14,576 in the United Kingdom.
The three countries which had previously been the epicentres, Spain, Italy and France, have passed the peak of the curve – with Spain recording an increase of 3,219 cases, totalling 188,167 cases with 316 new deaths, totalling death toll of 19,631; Italy recording an increase of 3,493 cases totalling 172,434 cases with 575 new deaths, totalling death toll of 22,745; and France, with 1,909 new cases totalling 147,969 cases, with 761 new deaths totalling death toll of 18,681.
Malaysia is doing much better from the data announced by the Health Director-General, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday – an increase of 69 new cases, the lowest recorded since March 14, totalling 5251 cases, with two new deaths reaching a total death toll of 86 deaths.
Equally significant, yesterday was also the fifth day in a row in which the number of people discharged exceeded the number of new cases, i.e 2,967 recoveries which represented 56.5 per cent of recovery of Covid-19 positive cases.
As compared to Malaysia’s 56.5%, the recovery rate in the United States and the major epicentres in Europe has been much lower – United States (8.4%), Spain (39.7%), Italy (24.8%), France (23.3%), United Kingdom (not available).
It is therefore with shock that when I was following the video meeting of the UK parliamentary Select Committee on Health and Social Care on “Management of the Coronavirus Outbreak” where the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, appeared for a 150-minute Question & Answer Session with members of the Parliamentary Select Committee, that I received an email from the Secretary of the Malaysian Parliament that the normally month-long meeting of Parliament starting on May 18 had been cut down to one day.
According to the parliamentary notice, there would only be the speech by the Yang di Pertuan Agong opening the new Parliamentary session, but debate on the motion of thanks to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for the Royal Address had been postponed to the July meeting of Parliament (July 13 – August 27).
This is most unacceptable as it makes a farce of Parliament.
The decision on the one-day sitting of Parliament on May 18 must be reconsidered by the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Parliament should not be shunted off, emasculated or marginalised but must play a major role in galvanising national unity and solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as providing scrutiny to ensure the most effective strategy to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and the best exit plan for the economic recovery of the country.