Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has finally fulfilled a Pakatan Harapan election promise and will soon be appearing in Parliament every Wednesday to answer questions, Bernama reported on Monday (July 8).
The PM said this was in response to “many requests” for a segment called Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT), Bernama reported.
The PMQT was part of a parliamentary reform pledge made by PH at the 14th General Election.
Bernama cited Deputy Speaker of Parliament Nga Kor Ming as saying that PMQT sessions might begin as early as October.
It quoted Mahathir as saying that he typically went to Parliament every Wednesday to answer questions, but was sometimes absent as there were no questions directed at him.
“It is not my fault when I’m not in Parliament – it is because there is no question for me. Now if there are no questions, I still have to go,” Bernama reported the PM as saying on July 8.
Just a week ago on July 3, Deputy Speaker Nga said that the PMQT would be implemented “when the time is right”, Bernama said in a separate report.
This followed a comment from de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong, who said there was no need for the PMQT as the current Minister’s Question Time segment was sufficient.
Minister’s Question Time takes place every Tuesday and Thursday.
Bernama quoted Nga as saying that he believed the PM could answer the questions posed to him “with full confidence”.
Previously, Mahathir’s decision to appoint a new anti-corruption chief without consulting the Cabinet came under fire for going against PH’s promises of transparency and integrity when selecting key government appointments.
The PM subsequently said he would continue to decide on key public appointments in the Government, but said he welcomed others to “give their views”.