Govt backbenchers slam Opposition MPs over no-show at AG’s Report debate

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 06 Jun 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: Government backbenchers have hit out at Opposition MPs for not being present during the debate on the Auditor-General’s Report 2021 Series 2.

Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan said it was disappointing to see the absence of Opposition MPs, claiming that he saw many still walking outside the Dewan Rakyat while proceedings continued.

He added it was inaccurate for the Opposition to say debating the report was against the Federal Constitution, as cited by Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Baru) who said it was contrary to Article 107(1) of the Federal Constitution.

“Article 107(1) states that the Auditor-General shall submit his reports to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and it will then be tabled before the House of Representatives.

“If we follow this, the reports only have to be presented and there is no need to debate them.

“Despite that, if the government decides to allow the debates to continue, it does not go against the Constitution.

“If the government wants to take a further step and debate this, the Opposition should support it and not boycott the session,” Syahredzan told a press conference at Parliament on Tuesday (June 6).

Taking another jab at the Opposition, Syahredzan said they may have forgotten how there was also no need to debate the Royal Speech, yet the debate continued.

“In a historic moment, where the government allows the debate on this, the Opposition, however, does not heed this call,” he said.

Tebrau MP Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said there were no provisions in the Federal Constitution or Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders stating that such reports could not be debated.

“If we want to reform Parliament and go one step further, why is the Opposition not welcoming this even though it is a good thing?” he said.

Earlier, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul allowed the Auditor-General's Report 2021 Series 2, which highlights irregularities during the Covid-19 pandemic to be debated in the Dewan Rakyat despite strong objections from the Opposition.

Johari said he had received feedback from many government officials as well as the people, asking for the audit report to be debated in the august House.

Chaos soon erupted where Takiyuddin, who is also the Perikatan Nasional Parliament Whip chief, said the move to debate the report had never been done before and the report was previously only laid on MPs' tables.

"Based on our check, this has never happened before that the audit report is open for debate.

"I believe that the motion to debate the audit report could be against the Parliament's Standing Orders and the Federal Constitution," he said.

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