KUALA LUMPUR: A war of words erupted in the Dewan Rakyat when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) questioned why some of the ministers had gone missing when the flood hit parts of the country at the end of last year.
The Opposition leader said although the Prime Minister was around since day one, some ministers were nowhere to be seen.
Anwar then said that after the Parliament meeting ended in December last year, he personally told the Prime Minister that some of the ministers are not around.
"We were informed that several of them had gone overseas and even went to perform the Umrah.
"The rakyat are dying, their houses were sinking under flood waters yet some chose to perform the Umrah. Such matters must be corrected," he said during a special one-day sitting in Parliament on Thursday (Jan 20).
"If they are already overseas, they must return immediately because it is their responsibility.
"I am not trying to downplay the importance of Umrah but we need to know our priorities," Anwar said.
Mohamad Sabu (PH-Kota Raja) then interjected, asking why the minister had chosen to perform his Umrah.
Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man then stood up, saying that he would address the issue.
"I will answer it later. So you will understand the situation," he said.
Anwar then continued, saying that he was merely raising the issue as the Prime Minister had earlier said some MPs were not around during the floods.
"I can give my assurance that if any of the MPs, under my purview, did not perform up to par during the floods, they will be dropped from contesting in the next general election. I am monitoring them every day," said Anwar.
Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin then asked Anwar to explain why Khalid Abdul Samad (PH-Shah Alam) was not around on the ground at that time.
A shouting match then ensued between Bung and Khalid.