When our MPs play hooky from Parliament

APRIL 8 ― To those defending the Opposition MPs who were not present during the Prevention of Terrorism Bill (Pota) voting in Parliament, I would just like to say: Shh.

“We had legitimate reasons not to attend!” Seriously, whoever is keeping track of attendance is doing a piss-poor job. Shouldn't there at least be some sort of quota, perhaps no more than five absentees per party allowed?

“No, Datuk, you can't go on that Wednesday, the malas nak masuk (lazy to come in) quota is filled for the day.”

Instead we have: 11 missing from PKR. 11 missing from PAS. Two missing from DAP (have a cookie, good job).

Look, we know that PR has only 88 seats in Parliament right now. But if you can't get your MPs to show commitment for those seats, then how can you assume you'll win more?

I'm sorry, PKR, but the Opposition's role is to be a check and balance. That is supposed to be its role. But no, you have PKR obsessing over Anwar on one side, PAS frothing at the mouth over hudud and DAP generally being pissed off with PAS. No wonder people would rather stick with the current corrupt batch of idiots instead of voting in new idiots.

Let's be real. Thanks to the dunderheads in MCA and MIC who also helped vote in Pota, there was no way it wouldn't get passed. But life, sometimes, is just about showing up.

To that MP who said he had an event to attend, what event is more important than trying (even knowing you will fail) to oppose a Bill that would dial back our rights back to the Stone Age?

Is your mother ill or dead? Did you lose a limb or your sanity? Are there aliens invading and you need to go to the frontlines to protect us from them? I am trying very hard to think of reasonable excuses for the MPs not to be at Parliament while it is in session and well, I found it rather difficult.

At this point, I'm beginning to think we should just avoid real sessions in Parliament and just have virtual ones. Videoconferences. So our illustrious YBs can sit around in their pyjamas if it suits them.

“Yes, YB, you can send in your votes via text. No problem.”

No chatrooms, though. Datuk Bung Mokhtar's Tweets are already travesties to language so you can just imagine what his Parliamentary chatroom messages would look like.

If it isn't important for MPs to attend sittings, then why have them in the first place? If you are planning events, here's an idea: plan them while Parliament isn't in session.

At least the MPs who turned up and tried to oppose the Bill can say, “We tried.”

The MPs who didn't turn up can only say, “We were busy.” And if that is how you will be remembered in history, you never deserved your posts in the first place.

*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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