REPORTS BY MARTIN CARVALHO, HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, RAHIMY RAHIM AND TARRENCE TAN
CONSTITUENTS can write in to Parliament to check the attendance of their respective MPs, says Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon.
“They can write in to us and we will inform the MP that his or her name was handpicked to be checked on their attendance, ” he said when met at Parliament lobby yesterday.
But he conceded that it was not appropriate for Parliament to reveal the attendance record of each MP.
“We can get their names, but it isn’t proper for us to spread their names. Whoever wants to know (about MPs’ attendance) can meet the Parliament management, ” he added.
Pressed further, Rashid conceded that he personally felt that names of MPs who were frequently absent could be revealed publicly.
“It can be done once in a while for awareness to be given to MPs, and this can be brought up in our discussions, ” he added in response to a situation in Parliament last Thursday, where proceedings to debate Budget 2020 were halted temporary due to a lack of quorum.
Under Standing Order 13, there must be at least 26 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan for proceedings to be held.Rashid defended the absent MPs, saying that most of them were in the vicinity of Parliament, but were just not present in the House where proceedings were taking place.
“Among their justifications is that there were loudspeakers in the vicinity in the Parliament.
“I hope MPs will not be absent just because they can listen to the proceedings from the cafe, ” he said.
Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong lamented the poor attendance in Dewan Rakyat.
“As of now, there is no Cabinet minister in Dewan Rakyat.
“There are only two deputy ministers listening to the debates on Budget 2020, ” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.
Referring to the ringing of the House bell at 4.05pm last Thursday, the MCA president said: “Looks like all of Pakatan Harapan’s Cabinet ministers did not take heed from the incident, ” he said, labelling his post with the hashtag #MenteriSilaDudukDengarPerbahasanJanganLari.