The issue of absenteeism is a prolonged issue and shines a bad light on the country’s governance.
The issue of absenteeism among parliament members (MPs) has been a long-standing issue.
Fortunately, it seems like some changes might be coming soon to put a stop to it.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul is mulling the idea of cutting MPs’ allowance if they fail to turn up for meetings.
He said there have been calls to have the Parliament Standing Orders amended to pave the way for this to happen.
If you don’t come for X hours a day, you don’t get an allowance for that day. I think that is a good idea. They must spend certain amount of time in the House before they are entitled to the daily allowances they are paid.Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul
Currently, MPs get an allowance of about RM500 a day. Irresponsible MPs would allegedly attend a meeting for only 5 minutes then leave and never come back just so they could claim the allowance.
Johari said it’s unfair because MPs are supposed to attend the proceedings to discuss matters related to their constituencies and have a duty to their constituents.
He added that sometimes MPs were absent for days but he has no authority to penalise them.
According to The Star, he plans to bring the idea before the House Committee which he chairs. The committee comprises members from various political parties.
Johari had seen comments online where the public had raised the issue of absenteeism among MPs.
They have been saying how come our MPs are absent for no reason, especially during Prime Minister’s Question Time on Tuesdays. That is when I think Parliament should have a full house because the Prime Minister is there.Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul
The Prime Minister’s Question Time is held on Tuesdays and was introduced by the current administration when the 15th Parliament held its first meeting in February. On Thursdays, it’s the Minister’s Question Time.
Johari said it’s embarrassing to raise the issue because the MPs should have been mature enough to know their responsibilities.
Previously, opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin and his Perikatan Nasional (PN) colleagues Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang were criticised for not attending the Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament.
Malay Mail reported that it wasn’t the first time the trio were absent from meetings.
What do netizens think?
Netizens agree with the suggested idea to cut the allowances of absent MPs. However, some believe the absent MP’s salary should be docked instead since they were not doing their job after all.
Others also believe MPs didn’t need the allowance just to attend the meeting or proceedings as it’s part of their job scope.
In addition, netizens pointed out that the meetings are not held daily but only for a few sessions and do not justify the need for an allowance.
Yes..Please! I am all for it. Surely we don’t want our MP’s “ambil gaji buta”.— Ameen (@ameen7006) August 29, 2023
And bukan bersidang 24x7x365 days pon, right ? It's just a few hours a dat for a few days per sessions and it announced in advance, so you have sufficient time to plan for it.— Chris Quek 🐧 (@chrisqck) August 29, 2023
First of all why do they need allowance to attend to work???? Isn’t attending to dewan part of the job scopes???— Herman Rawi 🇲🇾🇵🇸 (@mhermanrawi) August 29, 2023
Remove the allowance completely. Basic job scope doesn’t need allowances— icarus (@icaroose) August 30, 2023