The Dewan Rakyat sitting at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur Dewan Rakyat sit sitting
The Dewan Rakyat sitting at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur

The following article is sent to the editorial of MalaysiaGazette by reader, Hafiz Hassan.

Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad says the Dewan Rakyat has got to sit: to unite the people in the war against Covid-19. https://malaysiagazette.com/2021/06/03/dewan-rakyat-perlu-bersidang-untuk-menyatukan-rakyat-shahrir/

He joins the chorus of eminent persons who have been calling for the Dewan Rakyat to reconvene.

But, is it safe?

If the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a good source of public health advice on the Covid-19 pandemic, let’s look at what it says.

The CDC works 24/7 to provide the American public with timely and accurate health information, responding to public health emergencies and natural disasters, and monitoring the spread of dangerous and life-threatening diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/cdctv/emergencypreparednessandresponse/cdc-24-7.html

On safe activities when one is fully vaccinated, the CDC advises as follow (update May 28): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/participate-in-activities.html

·         If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic.

·         Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

The CDC defines full vaccination as two weeks after receiving the second shot of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after getting a single-shot vaccine.

Activities are categorized as outdoor and indoor. Examples of outdoor activities are shown as follow:

Outdoor activities

Examples of indoor activities are also shown:

However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) remains cautious as are many public health experts. “To be on the safe side,” says Cynthia Leifer, associate professor of immunology at Cornell University, “we should still practice distancing measures as much as we can in the shorter term until we get broader distribution of the vaccine.” She recommends people continue to follow the guidelines of avoiding large groups, wearing masks and observing physical distancing. https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/science-and-technology/2021/02/after-you-get-a-covid-19-vaccine-what-can-you-do-safely

Now, haven’t the members of Parliament (MP) been fully vaccinated?

How would the independent special committee, established under section 2(1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 [PU(A) 12/2021], advise the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong?

The advice should be on the sitting – if not the dissolution – of the Dewan Rakyat (DR) and Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN).

Shouldn’t it be safe to advise a sitting of DR and DUN?

Hafiz Hassan