Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun today ticked off an opposition Member of Parliament (MP) who questioned Dewan Rakyat’s 80-person per sitting limit, a decision made last week over Covid-19 concerns.
In responding to an argument against the limit by Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang), Azhar Azizan said the decision was made through a consensus of party whips.
Furthermore, he said the set quorum is 26 people, while all those selected by party whips could participate in the debate.
“At any given time, there are about 100 to 120 MPs present and not all of them are in the Dewan (chamber) from 10am to 5.30pm. Sometimes, we can’t even meet the quorum.
“Let us repay the hard work and sweat of our frontliners, (Health director-general Tan Sri) Dr Noor Hisham (Abdullah), by giving our cooperation. They have been working non-stop for seven months, day and night, even on public holidays,” he said.
In a heated exchange in Parliament this morning, Azhar said the Federal Constitution does not mention that he has to listen to all 222 MPs during a debate session citing that the quorum of the meeting was only 26 MPs.
“The MP raised Article 96 and 97 of the Federal Constitution. Article 96 and 97 doesn’t say all 222 MPs have to be in Parliament at all times,” Azhar told the Dewan Rakyat.
Azhar said his decision was final and that the matter should not be revisited.
He also questioned why the limitation to 80 MPs ruling has suddenly become an issue among the MPs.
“Why when we reached a consensus that agreed to 80 MPs, suddenly this became a huge issue? Why?
“Let’s debate the Budget 2021 Bill,” he said.