KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat was forced to halt proceedings temporarily because of a lack of quorum.
Speaker Datuk Mohamad Arrif Md Yusof ordered the House to stand down after Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (PBB-Kapit) noted that there was a lack of quorum.
"There are no ministers or deputy ministers in the House, so can we proceed as there is a lack of quorum?" he said when the House resumed at 2.30pm on Tuesday (July 24) after the lunch break.
Mohamad Ariff took note of Linggi's observation and stopped proceedings.
He ordered the Dewan Rakyat bell to be rung for two minutes to allow lawmakers to enter the hall.
Proceedings resumed after Mohamad Ariff announced there were 35 lawmakers present in the hall.
Under Standing Order 13, there must be at least 26 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan to allow proceedings to be held.
On Monday (July 23), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed his dissatisfaction over the attendance of his Cabinet members and their deputies in Parliament.
He said ministers and deputy ministers should improve on their attendance records in the Dewan Rakyat, or have proper excuses if they cannot make it.
Last week, Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) had questioned why the Government's front bench was empty during the motion of thanks on the Royal Address.
“Not even a single Cabinet Minister in the Dewan Rakyat to listen to the Opposition leader's speech,” the Rembau MP had tweeted.
Note: An earlier version of this story used the term ‘adjourned’, which is technically incorrect.