Dr M Chides MPs for Poor Attendance in Parliament

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Responding to the question of whether the absence of MPs could be a sign of protest against him, the PM told MPs to say so if they don’t like him.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today took to task MPs who were absent from the Dewan Rakyat sitting yesterday after a lack of quorum caused proceedings to be delayed for the second time in two months.

Speaking to reporters after officiating an event, he said he would be talking to them about the matter.

Yusof Mat Isa

“They were anxious to become candidates before the election, but after they were elected they don’t seem to be very serious about serving the people,” he said.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting yesterday was delayed by two minutes as there were only 24 MPs in the hall, two short of the minimum required under Dewan Rakyat Meeting Standing Order Number 13 (1).

In October, proceedings were also delayed due to a lack of quorum, sparking criticism of the administration by the opposition.

When asked if the absence of MPs could be a sign of protest against him as prime minister, Mahathir said there are many other ways of expressing such views.

“If they don’t like me, then they (can) say so openly,” he added.

“I am open to criticism. When we become leaders, we must expect this.”

He said he agreed with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim on the matter, adding that those who wish to dispute his position should do so “in the right way”.

“It shouldn’t be through the back door,” he said.

Yesterday, Subang MP Wong Chen, in his Facebook page, said: “We need 26 (MPs) to proceed. The sitting was suspended for two minutes. The proceedings then continued with 28 MPs this morning with only one minister present and five deputy ministers. The government needs to buck up.”