KUALA LUMPUR: The unruly behaviour of Opposition MPs is among the reasons why Pakatan Harapan MPs occasionally leave the Dewan Rakyat proceedings, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong (pic).
"At times, we see that many MPs among the Opposition do not debate ethically. They only shout and make a lot of noise.
"Sometimes, we are unable to sit inside because they are just raising irrelevant issues to the subject (being debated).
"So, many MPs go out to the lounge to have coffee," he claimed.
Liew was referring to an incident on Tuesday (Nov 26) night, where 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 their MPs present were more than Pakatan's.
Liew also said that the issue of lack of quorum does not arise as the allocations were approved with 32 MPs voting in support while 28 Opposition MPs rejected it.
"In the second bloc vote, it was 45 MPs supporting and 28 rejecting it. They demanded for bloc voting and they failed," he said.
The Batu Sapi MP labelled the Opposition's attempt to defeat the allocations as an "unwise and irresponsible" move.
"It was tabled by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, which were allocations for welfare, the disabled and single-mothers.
"So, I think the Opposition is being irresponsible," he added.
Earlier in Parliament, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin also said that it was not easy for MPs to remain seated inside the Dewan Rakyat for proceedings because it could get too cold.
"It's not easy for us to stay for a long time, you know? It is very cold sometimes," he was quoted as saying, adding that such occurrences were normal.
PKR parliamentary whip chief Datuk Johari Abdul also told reporters that fatigue was among the factors causing poor MP attendance.
"In this Budget session, we always finish late – usually around 10pm or 10.30pm. When you get home, it's about midnight and after you shower it's about 1am. After you say 'hi' to you wife, its 1.30am.
"We have to discuss with the Speaker to see how MPs can have more quality time. Now, they seemed quite fatigued," Johari was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong, in a statement on Wednesday (Nov 27), said that the expectation of MPs to sit in the Dewan Rakyat from 10am to 12am is the simplest way to "literally kill our MPs".