Deputy education minister gets told off in Dewan Rakyat for unpreparedness during Question Time

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Ramli Mohd Nor today chided Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying for her unpreparedness in answering a question posed in the lower House of Parliament.

He said her inability to furnish a reply to a question asked by PAS’ Pengkalan Chepa MP Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary gave a bad impression of the government.

“The schedule was released earlier. By right this should not have happened.

“I hope the government and Leader of the House takes note of this... it gives a bad impression of the government,” Ramli said during Question Time.

The question posed to Lim was numbered 16th on today’s list.

Several backbenchers including Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong from DAP and Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad from Amanah told the deputy speaker that the time allocated for questions was over.

The clock in Parliament showed 11.35am — five minutes past the allocated time for questions — but Ramli allowed it and called Lim to answer.

“I didn’t prepare a reply for this question. I apologise and will furnish a reply through a written reply.

“I’m sorry this will not happen again,” Lim said in the Dewan Rakyat.

After the Question Time session had ended Ahmad Marzuk called for the resignation of both Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek and Lim citing their failure to prepare a reply for the Parliament sitting.

"Earlier she supported adjourning the Dewan Rakyat for certain time, did she come to support the Dewan Rakyat adjournment motion only?

"That is not a significant responsibility for a deputy minister," he told reporters after the Question Time.

He added that the minister should have prepared to answer questions in Parliament citing the refusal of his supplementary question.

He claimed that this was unprecedented in the history of Parliament because usually the answer was prepared two weeks earlier.

In a response to the matter, Lim’s special duties officer Lim Swee Kuan clarified that what had transpired in Parliament today was something out of the ordinary.

“We apologise for what happened.

“Usually the process of preparing oral answers is based on the maximum number of questions that can be answered by all ministries which is between 11 to 13 questions to be answered within 90 minutes.

“The officer will give a detailed briefing to the minister or deputy minister who will answer the questions that appear in the first 15 questions.

“We have prepared detailed answers for three questions which are the 4th, 8th and 11th questions,” Swee Kuan said adding that the deputy minister also answered all three questions as usual in the House this morning.

He added that it was unexpected when question 16 was called at 11.35am.

“We will take more proactive measures to prevent this from happening again,” he said.