PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian lawmakers are required to get tested for Covid-19 before they will be allowed to attend the upcoming one-day Parliament sitting on May 18.
"Following the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) across the country and as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, (the) Dewan Rakyat Speaker has agreed that all MPs must be tested for Covid-19 in Parliament from May 14 to 15," said secretary Riduan Rahmat in a letter to MPs dated Monday (April 27).
Dewan Rakyat is the Lower House of Parliament.
Parliament was to have met on March 9, but this was postponed to May 18, when the Perikatan Nasional coalition took over administration following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.
The Malaysian King, Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin will deliver the Royal Address when opening Parliament at 10am on May 18.
Mr Riduan also urged MPs to get tested in Parliament but for those who are unable to do so, they can choose to do it at the nearest government hospitals or clinics.
"Yang Berhormat (The Honourable) must also get the confirmation letter from doctors and the test must be done within two to three days before the opening of the first meeting of the third session of the 14th Parliament.
"If the test is conducted in any private hospitals or clinics, the Parliament will not pay for it," he added, noting if the MPs tested positive, they will also not be allowed to attend the opening.
The second meeting of the Dewan Rakyat will be from July 27 to Aug 27. During that meeting, the 12th Malaysia Plan will be tabled on Aug 6, and the Dewan Rakyat will not sit on July 30, Aug 19 and 20 to observe the Hari Raya Qurban and Awal Muharam respectively.
The third and final meeting of the year will begin on Sept 28 to Nov 26.
This is often the longest meeting for every session, as the country's budget will be tabled, debated and passed during this time.
Budget 2021 will be tabled by the Finance Minister on Oct 2.
The Dewan Rakyat will also take a one-day break on Oct 29 due to Maulidul Rasul.