MPs hail move to have PM Question Time

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaking in the Dewan Rakyat last October. The proposed Prime Minister’s Question Time will be a session reserved for Mahathir to field questions.

PETALING JAYA: Several MPs have welcomed the proposal to introduce the Prime Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat.

Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri of Gabungan Parti Sarawak said it would give Dr Mahathir Mohamad the opportunity to assess the interests of MPs and their understanding of the country’s national and international agenda.

It would also enable MPs, particularly those in the opposition, to pose questions on issues relating to the prime minister’s direct responsibility, she told FMT.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong, who is the MP for Ayer Hitam, agreed with Nancy, but he also said MPs needed to improve the quality of their questions.

“At the same time,” he added, “ministers as well as the prime minister need to provide better and more solid answers.”

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil of PKR said the move augured well for parliamentary reform.

“We have always wanted to see more transparency and accountability in the Dewan, and I believe the Prime Minister’s Question Time will help towards that end,” he added.

He said the MPs as well the prime minister would need to be fully prepared for the session. “The MPs need to come with good questions and the PM with equally good, if not better, answers.” he said.

The Prime Minister’s Question Time will be one of the key proposals for parliamentary reform to be tabled during the Dewan Rakyat sitting in July.

Deputy speaker Nga Kor Ming said last Saturday that it would be a session reserved for Mahathir to field questions and he would not be allowed to delegate the task to his deputy.

Nga also said the plan was to telecast the session live.

Nancy said the idea of having a session for the PM to answer questions was not new. According to her, it was discussed when Barisan Nasional was in power.