IT IS shocking to hear that the Dewan Rakyat proceedings were disrupted by a lack of quorum. Not getting a quorum out of 222 MPs is mind-boggling!
How could the MPs be missing in action when they receive an allowance to attend Parliament sessions? Could you imagine what would happen to students who absent themselves from schools, colleges and universities?
The quorum at every Parliament sitting is the responsibility of MPs from both sides of the political divide. The MPs were supposed to debate the Royal Address which is a serious matter.
Among the reasons forwarded by the absent MPs included attending a briefing or meeting upstairs or outside the hall, having an appointment with the mentri besar, late proceedings on previous nights and being busy with personal or public matters. These reasons are unacceptable.
Our Prime Minister had already expressed his disapproval with the poor attendance of ministers and deputy ministers a day earlier. Moreover, the Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Nga Kor Ming had rapped Pakatan Harapan ministers and deputy ministers, describing the latter’s mass absence from the Parliament sitting as unbecoming of MPs.
I agree with veteran politician Tan Sri Rais Yatim and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub that action must be taken against those absent without any valid reason. Penalties such as slashing or cutting their allowances should be implemented on MPs who do not.
Perhaps, before dissolving Parliament for the 15th General Election, the total attendance of all MPs at Dewan Rakyat sittings should be made known to the electorate just like what is practised at associations, clubs and society annual general meetings before the election of new office-bearers for the following term.
Apart from being bad role models, surely it is morally wrong in our New Malaysia for the MPs to be absent from Parliament sittings and yet receive allowances.
Did you find this article insightful?