Rais Yatim: Name and shame absent, ‘lazy’ MPs

Tan Sri Rais Yatim said the best way forward to ensure lawmakers are present in the Dewan Rakyat is to publicly list down those who skipped proceedings. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar
Tan Sri Rais Yatim said the best way forward to ensure lawmakers are present in the Dewan Rakyat is to publicly list down those who skipped proceedings. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — The best way forward to ensure lawmakers are present in the Dewan Rakyat is to publicly list down those who skipped proceedings, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) leader Tan Sri Rais Yatim said today.

The former Umno minister also said that that the allowances of absent MPs should be cut.

“The best way to overcome the problem of an insufficient quorum in the Dewan Rakyat is to cut the monthly allowance of members following the rates set by the Parliament Select Committee.

“Two, publish the names of members who are lazy to attend in newspapers or social media,” Rais tweeted.

Proceedings in the Dewan Rakyat had to be halted for 10 minutes after lunch as there were not enough lawmakers present to continue.

According to parliamentary rules, at least 26 MPs must be present in order for a sitting to continue.

Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof adjourned the proceedings after Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi pointed out the absence.

The Speaker concluded that there was no quorum after Linggi’s observation, and proceeded to ring the bell for two minutes to summon MPs to the hall.

Proceedings only resumed after Mohamad Ariff was informed that 35 lawmakers were present in the House.

The absence of federal lawmakers in Parliament has been gaining attention of late, most notably when pointed out by Opposition MPs.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed dissatisfaction over the attendance of his Cabinet members and their deputies in Parliament, but said they have other ministerial duties to attend to as well.

Though he said the members of the Cabinet have paperwork to attend to, he said they should improve their attendance or have a good excuse for not attending Dewan Rakyat sessions.

Last week, Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin also questioned the number of empty seats during the motion of thanks on the Royal Address.

“Front beach is empty. Not a single Cabinet minister in the Dewan Rakyat to listen to the Opposition leader’s speech,” he tweeted.

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