Senate Creates History, Extends Sitting Until Past Midnight

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 – The Dewan Negara created history Tuesday when the sitting lasted until past midnight to enable all matters at hand to be resolved. This is the second time that Parliament faced such a situation after the Dewan Rakyat sitting was adjourned at 3.22 am on April 20, 2012. The Senate sitting was adjourned at 12.45 am on Wednesday after Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim completed his winding up speech on the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address. Senate president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, however, did not stop the proceeding when the clock struck midnight as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom was having the floor. Earlier, Abu Zahar in allowing the sitting to be extended until all matters were resolved, said the minister’s presence to answer all questions and the willingness of all the senators to stay put, must be appreciated.

“The minister’s presence is a good sign, while the Senate members’ willingness to wait is appreciated. So, I ask for a proposal be put forward to enable this sitting be extended until each ministry has wound up its debate,” he said. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim then read the standing order to cancel out the earlier order made and this was supported by Razali. According to today’s proceedings, the Dewan Negara needed to pass the motion of thanks for the royal address before the sitting could be postponed as from tomorrow, the Senate needs to debate on four bills. These are the Supplementary Supply Bill 2014, Goods and Services Tax Bill 2014, Judges Remuneration (Amendment) Bill 2013 and the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons (Amendment) Bill 2013. The first meeting of the second session of the Dewan Negara has been set for nine days from April 21 until May 6. The sitting continues tomorrow.

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