COMMENT | Last Tuesday, the Dewan Rakyat session was delayed for six minutes after lunch because quorum was not met.
This made headlines the following day, with The Star screaming “Where are the MPs?” alongside a photo of an empty chamber.
For the most part, the blame for this embarrassing and extremely rare episode immediately fell on the 71 backbenchers – ruling coalition MPs who are not cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, the speaker, or deputy speakers.
Critics accused MPs of playing truant, followed by opposition BN lawmakers criticising ministers and their deputies from being absent during the night debate sessions. Former minister Rais Yatim suggested that “lazy MPs” should have their salaries docked.
This begs the question: should the front, back and opposition bench have to be filled all the time?
Is attendance by ministers, their deputies and backbenchers compulsory when the Dewan Rakyat is in session...?