News | Empty chairs ‘listen’ to MPs debate as Cabinet goes missing

KUALA LUMPUR: Almost every Cabinet minister and deputy minister was missing in the Dewan Rakyat this afternoon, resulting in frustrated MPs having to address empty chairs on the government side.

And today is just the first day of the current sitting of the Dewan Rakyat.

The absence of ministers and deputy ministers who are supposed to note points raised by those debating the King’s address and reply to these later raised the ire of several MPs.

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar) tweeted that the government side was empty when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was debating on the health and economic crises.

“It was empty. Where are the ministers, deputy ministers?  This is the best time to debate and seek solutions for the sake of the rakyat,” he said.

Noting that MPs were paid allowances to attend the sitting, Syed Saddiq added: “They should not go missing.”

“We owe it to the people (to be in the Dewan),” he said.

M Karupaiya (PH-Padang Serai), who brought the absence of the ministers and deputy ministers to the attention of the Speaker, lamented: “A lot of chairs are empty. At least 10% of them should be present.”

Karupaiya said he could not understand why none of them was present when there were about 70 ministers and deputies in the government.

“We have a big Cabinet. We are debating but only the chairs are listening,” he added, in seeking an explanation.

Saying this situation was unacceptable, Karupaiya urged the ministers or their deputies to be present in the House in future.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting is scheduled to end on Oct 12.

oleh Minderjeet Kaur

kredit foto: Abd Razak Aid

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