Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has agreed to a Prime Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat. This is a weekly practice in the United Kingdom’s Parliament.
Dr Mahathir finally agreed to the Question Time for the Malaysian Parliament saying he will be there whether there are questions or not.
Like in the UK, Wednesdays have been set for the Prime Minister to take questions from lawmakers.
In the United Kingdom Parliament, the Prime Minister answers questions from MPs in the Commons every sitting Wednesday from 12pm to 12.30pm.
The session normally starts with a routine question from an MP about the Prime Minister’s engagements, the Speaker of the House will then grant every single MP’s who filed a question to get a reply from the PM.
In some cases, the replies are edited and printed, while in most cases the PM will answer them verbally.
It is interesting to see how this develops in Malaysia a country which did not really put in practice the Westminster type of Parliamentary democracy in the past.
The proposed Prime Minister’s Question Time was initially scrapped by de facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong on June 24.
Liew had said that the current ministers question time on Tuesdays and Thursdays were sufficient.
Malaysia’s deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming says be believes the Prime Minister is very capable and he will be able to answer in full confidence.
According to Nga this is part of the ongoing process to bring reforms to Parliament in Malaysia. Among them is the motion to compel all lawmakers to declare their assets which was passed on July 1.
In the UK, the Question Time is often abbreviated to PMQs and officially known as Questions to the Prime Minister, while colloquially known as Prime Minister’s Question Time.
The English Question Time for the Prime Minister is centuries old, allowing backbench MPs wishing to ask a question must enter their names on the Order Paper.
The names of entrants are shuffled in a ballot to produce a random order for the Speaker to call them in alternating fashion, that is one MP from the government benches is followed by one from the opposition benches.
It is not known if Malaysia will implement the same style and practices.