Makes no sense to postpone Parliament Select Committee meetings – Kulai MP

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 – It does not make sense for the Health Director General to advise the Parliament to postpone all its select committee meetings for two weeks, says Member Parliament for Kulai, Teo Nie Ching.

Apart from the Public Accounting Committee (PAC) meeting, which was due on Aug 2, and other committee meetings, the Parliament Education Select Committee has been also postponed for two weeks.

Nie Ching said the Parliament Education Select Committee originally planned to meet on Tuesday, Aug 3, to discuss several issues, including the status of the 150,000 free laptops for students, the implementation of home-based learning implemented by the Ministry of Education and also the stress faced by higher education students due to online learning.

“However, we received a letter by the secretary of Dewan Rakyat this afternoon, saying that upon the advice of the Health Director General, all meetings of Select Committee and Special Select Committee are postponed for 2 weeks, to enable the Ministry of Health to assess of risk following the recent COVID19 cases detected in Parliament,” she said in a press statement issued today.

The Ideal Convention Centre (IDCC) in Shah Alam where 204 workers tested positive for Covid-19, only closed for 1 day to enable sanitisation work to be carried out, so why has the Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah advised that two weeks will be required to do a risk assessment in Parliament where 11 people tested positive out of 1,183 (less than 1 percent positive rate), she asked.

“The Education Select Committee consists of seven members. Even after including parliamentary staff and representatives from the Ministry, our meeting should not involve more than 30 people, and yet, Dr Noor Hisham advises us to postpone the meeting.”

She said that while it was the Health Ministry’s job to fight the Covid-19, the MPs also had the responsibility towards students who were still waiting for their laptops to follow online classes.

She said these students had been “left out of education due to their inability to follow home-based learning, and who are facing tremendous mental stress due to this Covid-19.”