MPs who do not attend enough Dewan Rakyat sittings will get a talking to by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself.
Dr Mahathir, when asked if he is going to crack the whip on absentee MPs, also suggested that Parliament attendance would be a factor in which MPs may be dropped when he reshuffles his Cabinet.
“We will have to have a talk with the parliamentarians, as they were very anxious to be candidates.
“But after being elected, they are behaving as if they are not serious about serving the people, ” said Dr Mahathir.
On how Parliament attendance will be used as a factor in the Cabinet reshuffle that he announced on Wednesday (Nov 20), Dr Mahathir simply said, “It is up to me”.
He had then said that a Cabinet reshuffle was needed after Pakatan Harapan suffered a resounding loss in the Tanjung Piai by-election on Nov 16.
On Wednesday, only 24 of 222 MPs were present; a quorum requires a minimum of 26 MPs. The Dewan Rakyat sitting was delayed by the Speaker under Dewan Rakyat Meeting Standing Order Number 13 (1).
It was also delayed last October due to a lack of quorum.
Dr Mahathir said if non-attendance was a way for MPs to protest against his leadership, there were other ways to do so.
“I am open to criticism, ” said Dr Mahathir, who was flanked by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
“If you don’t like me, then say so openly, ” he told the media after officiating the eighth International Social Well-being Conference 2019 organised by the Employees Provident Fund here Thursday (Nov 21).
On another matter, he said that he agreed with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that anyone aspiring to be Prime Minister should do it the right way.
“I agree with him (Anwar) – must be PM the right way, ” said Dr Mahathir.
Anwar had said on Wednesday 20 that those who want to be prime minister should not hold meetings in houses and should get a consensus of Pakatan parties – in an apparent reference to a meeting his party deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali had with 22 Umno MPs at his house on Nov 18.