Parliament sitting adjourns sine die on high note

04 Aug 2022 10:01pm
Azhar said a total of 24 motions were tabled and debated in the Special Chamber, throughout the session. Photo: BERNAMA
Azhar said a total of 24 motions were tabled and debated in the Special Chamber, throughout the session. Photo: BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - The Second Meeting of the Fifth Session of the 14th Parliament adjourned sine die on a high note today, with two significant bills passed during the 12 days meeting.

The Dewan Rakyat made history when the Constitution (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 2022, to prohibit members of Parliament (MPs) from changing parties, passed with a two-thirds majority.

Government and opposition lawmakers put aside their political differences to ensure political stability in the country for the long run, as a bloc vote saw 209 MPs present, being in favour of the historic constitutional amendment.

The amendment includes a clause stating that a member of the Dewan Rakyat will lose the seat that they won if they switch to another party.

MPs were also united in support of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill 2021 to address sexual harassment in Malaysia.

The Dewan Rakyat also passed the Housewives' Social Security Bill 2022, which aims to guarantee the social well-being of housewives, families and communities through the Housewives Social Security scheme.

Meanwhile, the motion for the extension of Sub-section 4(5) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) (Act 747) for another five years beginning July 31, was met with resistance, however, it was passed in a bloc vote which saw 111 members of Parliament agreeing while 88 disagreed, with 21 absent.

An ambitious Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill 2022 aims to create a generational end game (GEG) for individuals born on and after Jan 1, 2007 to be non-smokers, was referred to a parliamentary select committee for further scrutiny.

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Apart from that, the Dewan Rakyat passed 22 bills, including Independent Police Conduct Commission Bill 2020; Control of Padi and Rice (Amendment) Bill 2022; National Forestry (Amendment) Bill 2022; Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022; Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022 and Tourism Tax (Amendment) Bill 2022.

However, the motion on the election of a Deputy Speaker for the Dewan Rakyat to replace Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was deferred for the fourth time, and it will be tabled at the next meeting of the Dewan Rakyat.

Five bills - Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Bill 2021; Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill 2022; Printing of Qur'anic Texts (Amendment) Bill 2022; Renewable Energy (Amendment) Bill 2022 and Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Amendment) Bill 2022, which were scheduled to be tabled for the second and third readings as listed in the Order Paper, have been postponed to the next meeting.

Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun, in his closing speech, said that a total of 100 oral questions and answers, and 18 questions posed during the Minister's Question Time, were answered in the Parliament, while 24 motions were tabled and debated in the Special Chamber, throughout the session that started on July 18.

He also delivered several lines of 'pantun' describing the course of this session.

Among other things, the pantun read:

Tuntutan Sulu menghangatkan Dewan,

SOSMA dan lompat parti jadi perhatian,

Terkasar tersilap semasa perbahasan,

Harap dimaafkan demi persahabatan.

Generational end game langkah yang berani,

Jawatankuasa Pilihan perlu telitikan,

Semoga kita berjumpa lagi,

Moga semua dalam kesejahteraan. - BERNAMA