KUALA LUMPUR, 18 Feb 2009: The sight of empty chairs on the government section of Dewan Rakyat today caused several members of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) to question their commitment.
Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) regretted the absence of ministers and deputy ministers who should be giving priority by listening to what the members of parliament (MP) have to say.
“We are debating the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s address, something important but I can see only one deputy minister here. Is this not an important item?
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong reminded MPs to be polite but sometimes we have to raise our voice. The Prime Minister is vacating his post but nobody seem to care,” lamented the veteran MP.
Only Transport Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin was in parliament then.
Outspoken Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) also aired his unhappiness over the absence of many government representatives.
“When we raise our voice, people say we are rude. We may be on the government’s side but this situation makes us unhappy. The ministers and deputy ministers cannot be busy at the same time. If they don’t have the time then replace them,” he said.
Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) seized the opportunity by claiming that the ministers and deputy ministers could not attend as they were busy campaigning for party posts.
Newcomer Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut (PAS-Kuala Terengganu) interjected this was why Barisan Nasional (BN) lost the Kuala Terengganu seat.
“A deputy minister lost at Kuala Terengganu, after this it will be the turn of the other ministers and deputy ministers,” he added.
Abdul Wahid’s bold words prompted Bung Mohktar to regard the new member as being too outspoken.
“We must not be arrogant. It is all in the hands of Allah … Follow what the teacher had advised, just be calm.
“You can be thankful to Allah for the win but it will not last long, it is only temporary,” Bung added. — Bernama