Absent MPs have been warned, says Dr M

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KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan MPs who have been absent from Parliament proceedings have been given a warning, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

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According to the Prime Minister, the issue of absent MPs were discussed in detail during a recent Cabinet meeting, and it was found that ministers were often overseas due to many international meetings taking place at this time of the year.

“For normal MPs, sometimes they have their own issues. So, sometimes, they are not in the House but they are in the Parliament building. So, they can be called by the bell (in Parliament).

“We have given them a warning to attend (proceedings),” he said.

Last Thursday (Oct 17), proceedings to debate Budget 2020 were halted temporarily due to a lack of quorum.

Under Standing Order 13, there must be at least 26 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan for proceedings to be held.

Dr Mahathir, however, denied that this is a discipline issue among MPs, saying that such incidences happen in other countries which he visited in the past.

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“Sometimes, the issue of quorum arises due to political reasons,” he added.

On Monday (Oct 21), Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon said that constituents can write in to Parliament to check the attendance of their respective MPs.

However, he conceded that it was not appropriate for Parliament to reveal the attendance record of each MPs.

The poor attendance of MPs in Parliament was criticised by many quarters, including Subang MP Wong Chen, who said that his colleagues should voluntarily declare their annual attendance rate.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong also highlighted on Monday (Oct 21) that there were only two deputy ministers listening to debates on Budget 2020. -The Star