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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

‘Call to reopen Parliament in 14 days not unanimous’

 

Helping a family in need: Ismail Sabri (left) giving a contribution to Suria and his family at Flat Sri Johor in Kuala Lumpur. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The call to reopen Parliament within 14 days is the view of Umno’s political bureau and not that of the supreme council, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“It is unanimous in Umno that Parliament should reopen but the definition of ‘as fast as possible’ is up to interpretation.

“The 14 days stated was the opinion of the political bureau. But the one that ultimately decides is the supreme council... the bureau only suggests, ” he told reporters during a visit to Flat Sri Johor here yesterday.

The party vice-president also clarified that Umno had not decided on its next course of action if Parliament did not reconvene.

“Umno’s suggestion is to have proceedings in 14 days. On action taken if it does not proceed, we have not discussed that yet, ” he added.

On Monday, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi issued the Perikatan Nasional-led government an ultimatum to reopen Parliament within 14 days in line with the views of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Malay Rulers.

Ismail Sabri, who is the Senior Minister in charge of security, went to the flat to visit retired soldier Suria Mohamad Hassan, 59, who had been living under the Loke Yew bridge with his family.

Suria has been moved to a transit home at Flat Sri Johor for the time being.

The minister said that additional aid would be given to Suria via the Department of Veteran Army Affairs.

“We will also help him by upgrading his stall which he runs near the bridge. To help with his cost of living, Suria is already receiving a pension but it is not enough to sustain his family which includes five children.

“From the department, we will contribute a monthly payment of RM300 to further assist him. I urge all veterans who are facing tough times, please contact the department or their district veterans association so that we can assist them, ” he said.

Ismail Sabri also said that a permanent home for the ex-soldier and his family had been found, adding that they should be able to move in by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Umno’s Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the reconvening of Parliament needed a 28-day notice and not 14 days.

The Perikatan backbenchers club chairman said the majority of Barisan Nasional MPs agreed that Parliament should be reconvened, but that it should follow the current notice period of 28 days.

In a statement yesterday, he criticised Ahmad Zahid for what he described as the latter’s purported oversight of parliamentary rules.

“And if you want to give your views, make sure it is accurate, ” said Shahidan, who was removed as Perlis Umno chief in April.

He also said that those who labelled the current administration as useless should keep in mind that a majority of the ministers were from Umno.

“If this government is useless, Umno is the majority in the government, how can the government be useless if there are many Umno members within?” he asked. - Star

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