KUALA LUMPUR: It isn’t easy for MPs to stay inside the Dewan Rakyat for proceedings because it can be too cold, says Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin.
“It’s not easy for us to stay for a long time, you know? It is very cold sometimes," said Hanipa, who added that such occurrences were normal.
“I think everywhere in the world, you cannot expect MPs to stay all the time, ” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (Nov 27).
He claimed that it was normal for MPs to stay out of Dewan Rakyat proceedings for a long period of time under the former Barisan Nasional administration.
“That is why we have a bell for the Speaker to ring. For me, it’s a small matter, ” he said, adding that he wasn’t worried about the poor attendance of Pakatan Harapan MPs in Parliament proceedings.
Hanipa also said the Pakatan-led government had no problems at present.
“If we have problems, we will fix it. We are still united, no problem. It is a small matter, ” he added.
Earlier in Parliament, PKR parliamentary whip chief Datuk Johari Abdul also told reporters that fatigue was a factor causing the poor attendance of MPs
“In this Budget session, we always finish at around 10pm or 10.30pm. When you get home, it’s about 12am and after you shower it’s about 1am and after you say hi to you wife, its 1.30am.," he said
“We have to discuss with the Speaker to see how MPs can have more quality time. They seem quite fatigued now, ” Johari added.
On Tuesday (Nov 26) night, the 2020 Budget for the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry was nearly defeated after Opposition MPs called for a bloc vote twice when they noticed that they had more MPs in the Dewan Rakyat than Pakatan.
During the first vote count, the allocation was nearly approved with 32 MPs voting in support while 28 Opposition MPs rejected it.
The final bloc vote called by the Opposition stood at 45-28, where Pakatan saw an increase of 17 in its majority.
Opposition MPs questioned the time it took to tabulate votes from a small number of MPs present, as it took about 20 minutes for the votes to be tallied.
Meanwhile, Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong said in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 27) that the expectation that MPs should sit in the Dewan Rakyat from 10am to 12am was the simplest way to “literally kill our MPs”.
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