KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s parliament will hold a special sitting for five days starting from July 26 to allow lawmakers to be briefed on a national recovery plan, the office of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Monday.
The sitting will also allow the legislative body to amend necessary laws to conduct hybrid parliament meetings with virtual and physical attendance, the office said in a statement.
The announcement comes after repeated calls from Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah for parliament to reconvene to discuss steps that have been taken to deal with the health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parliament was suspended in January after the king declared a national emergency on Muhyiddin’s advice, a move described by the premier’s critics as an attempt to shore up his position amid a leadership challenge.
Muhyiddin’s office said the government had agreed to advise the king that parliament will reconvene for five days from July 26-29 and on Aug. 2, while the senate will sit on Aug. 3-5.
“All emergency proclamations and ordinances by the king shall be laid before both houses of Parliament,” it said.
Muhyiddin has been hospitalised since last week after suffering a digestive tract infection. He is in a stable condition and is expected to be discharged within a few days, according to an earlier statement from his office.
Malaysia has been under lockdown since last month amid a surge in coronavirus infections, though curbs have been relaxed in some states.
The Southeast Asian country reported 6,387 new cases on Monday, bringing total infections to 785,039. Deaths from the virus totalled 5,497 as of Sunday.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Ed Davies)