Budget vote in Malaysian parliament goes ahead despite presence of quarantined MPs in full PPE

The three MPs clad in full PPEs (Shared by Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong on Facebook )

The three MPs clad in full PPEs (Shared by Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong on Facebook )

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s parliament waded into controversy after three MPs currently undergoing home quarantine were allowed into the parliament to participate in a vote on the budget for the Federal Territories Ministry.

The three MPs, reportedly Health Minister Adham Baba and M. Saravanan from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and P. Prabakaran from the opposition Pakatan Harapan showed up wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) – Full white aprons, blue shower caps and visors.

The three sat on the highest floor, away from the other lawmakers.

However, opposition MPs protested their presence, demanded from Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun to explain how the three men suspected of contacts with COVID-19 cases were allowed out of their quarantine and into the parliament, and staged a walkout.

Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong reported in his Facebook page that the Speaker said that there was an MP who came to the parliament on Thursday although he was in quarantine.

According to local reports, the Speaker was referring to Batu MP P. Prabakaran, who attended Parliament to vote on another budget bill on December 10 although he had been ordered to stay at home.

Voting in progress

Voting in progress (Wee Ka Siong Facebook)

The opposition MPs refused to stay and reportedly screamed they were going out because they were in danger.

The budget was subsequently passed with 110 MPs voted in favour, seven opposed, 31 abstained and 72 absent.

“Looks like the opposition is just wasting time and not serious in the House of Rakyat!” Wee Ka Siong commented in his post, referrig to the lower house of the bicameral parliament.

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