KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s parliament can reconvene during the third phase of the national recovery plan, which is likely to happen in September or October this year, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Tuesday (Jun 15).
“I wish to give my commitment that the parliament meeting can be held in this phase, around September or October, with tight standard operating procedures in place,” he said in a televised address to unveil the plan.
Mr Muhyiddin said this had been his stance since early on that Malaysia’s system of parliamentary democracy could function again at the appropriate time when COVID-19 cases were under control and the country nearly reached herd immunity.
“I will continue to support the principles of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.
“Don’t let there be any parties who purposely create unrest and disorder among the people to the extent of hindering the government’s main task to handle the pandemic,” Mr Muhyiddin said.
The national recovery plan is a four-phase COVID-19 exit strategy beginning with the current total lockdown. Daily COVID-19 cases, intensive care unit occupancy and vaccination rate are the three indicators for the country to transition from one phase to another.
To enter phase three, daily cases have to fall below 2,000, the public healthcare capacity is at a comfortable level with enough ICU beds, and 40 per cent of Malaysia’s population have received both vaccine doses, Mr Muhyiddin said.
“The earliest these thresholds can be reached is by the end of August 2021,” he said.
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The prime minister said he hoped the national recovery plan could guide the country towards reclaiming the “much treasured freedoms” while doing all it could to protect the lives and livelihoods of Malaysians.
“I am cautiously optimistic that with proper planning, execution and support from all Malaysians, we can emerge victorious and stronger from this crisis,” he said.
Currently, Malaysia is in the midst of a total lockdown known as movement control order 3.0, which has been extended until Jun 28.
Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had in January declared a state of emergency in Malaysia to help curb COVID-19’s spread. It is set to end on Aug 1 or earlier depending on the state of the pandemic.
With the state of emergency in place, both parliament and state legislature sittings, as well as elections, are suspended while economic activities are allowed to continue.
Since last week, the king has held a series of audiences with 18 key political leaders, including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, for discussions on Malaysia’s current state of emergency and COVID-19 efforts.
Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (right) grants an audience to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Jun 9, 2021. (Photo: Facebook/Istana Negara)
In a statement on Tuesday, the palace said their views would be presented in the special Malay rulers’ meeting at 2.30pm on Wednesday.
READ: UMNO wants state of emergency to end as scheduled, parliament to sit, Ahmad Zahid informs king
On Tuesday, Malaysia registered 5,419 new cases, bringing the total COVID-19 cases to 667,876.
The government has rolled out stimulus packages worth RM380 billion (US$92 billion) in total since the pandemic.
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