Malaysian opposition MPs denied entry into Parliament, gather instead at Dataran Merdeka

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian opposition lawmakers gathered at Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square on Monday (Aug 2) after attempts to enter Parliament were blocked by the police. 

Several of the Members of Parliament (MPs) made speeches calling for the re-opening of Parliament, The Star reported. 

Despite the heavy police presence along the road heading to Parliament, the lawmakers are also expected to march to the legislative building later. 

The administration of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has postponed Monday’s parliamentary special sitting, citing Covid-19 cases detected in the building. 

This comes amid an open row between the Premier and the palace.

The opposition has decried the adjournment to an unspecified date as “ridiculous”.

Monday’s session was called off after 11 Covid-19 cases were discovered among Parliament attendees.

Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Sunday denied that the postponement was due to politics, insisting it was based on science and health data.

The Health Ministry also advised that the Parliament sitting and meetings at its premises be postponed for two weeks, starting July 29.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said the suggestion was made based on the health risk assessment and to prevent transmission of Covid-19 in Parliament.

The move comes amid an open row between Prime Minister Muhyiddin and the King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, over the government’s unilateral decision to cancel emergency ordinances instead of discussing them in Parliament as directed by the King.

The postponement is seen by government critics as an attempt to scupper calls for the Prime Minister to resign.

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