Proposal for Dewan Rakyat almost complete, but MPs were divided - SpeakerTASNIM LOKMAN HAJAR UMIRA MD ZAKI
SHAH ALAM - The proposal for the Dewan Rakyat session to be conducted online was 99 per cent done, but then MPs were divided on its implementation, says Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Azhar Harun.
Azhar, also fondly known as Art Harun said the Dewan Rakyat online session could not be held as the Constitution and standing orders were all geared up for physical sessions.
Hence, for that to happen standing order must be changed and he drove the initiative as a speaker.
“I told my secretary to prepare online sitting plus online voting.
“We prepared that and even a draft for the amendment of a standing order to allow us to sit online and even vote online. We brainstormed, we did all that and the costing.
“We even had a procurement proposal of what kind of system we needed and all those things were prepared 99 per cent, then I announced so I had an engagement with MPs,” he said.
Nevertheless, the proposal did not receive a unanimous response – some MPs were up for it, while some opposed the initiatives.
The opposition also came from the Government side, said Azhar.
“Of course, during the Covid-19 and emergency, it became political and didn’t move.
“But for the future, the draft is already there, the procurement and costing are already there, it’s just to get the green light from the Dewan Committee and standing order committee,” he said.
Azhar said it could not be done as soon after the draft finished due to the previous government’s collapse and the new government was busy with Covid-19, flood issues and economic issues.
He further said that as the time moved so fast, it had already been a year and six months and now Parliament had dissolved.
“Now, there were anti-hopping laws and Sosma (Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012), and that kind of thing but let’s hope the new government will look into it (especially) it’s (the proposal) ready,” he said.
Azhar said this when met during an exclusive interview with Sinar Daily for the latest episode of Fireside Chat.