Deputy minister ticked off for being unprepared

DEPUTY Education Minister Lim Hui Ying was ticked off for being unable to provide an answer for her ministry during Question Time.

Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Ramli Mohd Nor, who was presiding over the meeting, pointed out that she should have been better prepared.

“This should not have happened. The government and the head of the House will take note of this incident. It will give a bad image to the government,” he said.

Shortly after the incident, her special aide issued an apology, saying that the situation was “out of the ordinary”.

Lim Swee Kuan, however, gave his assurance that proactive action had been taken to ensure a similar situation would not happen in the future.

He said normally, the preparation process for Question Time is based on the maximum number of questions that can be answered by all ministries (on that day).

“This will be between 11 and 13 questions, which are to be answered within 90 minutes.

“However, unexpectedly, we had to answer question number 16 at 11.35am on Monday. We will take measures to prevent this from happening again,” he said.

Earlier, Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary (PN-Pengkalan Chepa), whose question was listed as number 16 on the Order Paper, had asked the Education Ministry about the allocation for the supplementary food programme (RMT) and how food quality under the initiative was being monitored.

However, the question was met with a long pause before Ramli asked the deputy minister if she had an answer to the question, to which Hui Ying replied that she did not.

“I have to apologise, Mr Speaker. Because I did not prepare an answer. May I answer it through a written reply?” she said.

However, Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (PN-Beluran) questioned why the ministry did not provide its minister or deputy minister with an answer.

“This should not have happened. The questions were submitted a while back, and an answer should have been provided,” said Kiandee.

Hui Ying apologised for the situation.

At the lobby of the parliament, Ahmad Marzuk expressed shock, claiming that such a situation had never happened before.

“As a deputy minister, she should come prepared. If you attend, it should not just be to fulfil the seat quota on the other bench. It is a waste of public funds to pay the salary of a deputy minister who cannot carry out her duties,” he said.

Ahmad Marzuk called on the Education Minister and deputy to resign for what he claimed to be failings in their basic duties.

Perikatan Nasional Federal Territories information chief Mahathir Mohd Rais, meanwhile, said Lim's inability to answer a question in the Dewan Rakyat has put the ruling coalition’s competence under the microscope.

He said the unexpected event raised serious concerns over the ruling pact’s ability to govern effectively.

"The incident has stirred discussions about the government's commitment to transparency, accountability, and effective communication," he said.

He said the unity government must address concerns over the issue and prove that the blunder was just a "comical hiccup", adding that the government must demonstrate a commitment to ensure that all ministers and deputy ministers were adequately briefed and prepared for parliamentary sessions.

"By taking decisive action to resolve these issues, the government has the opportunity to not only restore public confidence but also prove its competence in governing effectively," he said.

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