PM will speak to MPs on poor attendance

Dr Mahathir will decide whether the attendance would be taken into consideration when he conducts a Cabinet reshuffle soon

by DASHVEENJIT KAUR/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

PRIME Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he would meet and speak with the Cabinet members on the poor attendance at parliamentary sessions.

“We will have to talk to MPs,” he said during a press conference at the International Social Well-Being Conference (ISWC) 2019 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Commenting on ISWC 2019, Dr Mahathir urges the Cabinet members to ‘step up’, pool their resources and give every support available to ensure the [email protected] programmes’ success

He highlighted that it was the second time in the current sitting that the number of MPs present in the august house did not meet the quorum requirement.

“They were very anxious to be candidates during last general election, but after being elected, they are not behaving as if they are serious about serving the people,” he added.

On Wednesday morning, the Dewan Rakyat sitting was delayed when only 24 MPs were present in the hall. The bell had to be rung again for a full minute, after which four more lawmakers entered.

When asked if he would start taking down attendance of the MPs, Dr Mahathir said it is already being practised, adding that it would be up to him to decide if the attendance would be taken into consideration when he conducts a Cabinet reshuffle soon.

On the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) ISWC 2019, the PM told the Cabinet members to “step up”, pool their resources and give every support available to ensure the [email protected] programmes’ success.

He emphasised that the ministries responsible for the programmes’ pillars should not be the only ones held accountable.

“Not only do I require the mentioned ministries to be personally accountable for the various [email protected] pillars, I expect the rest of the Cabinet to step up too,” he said in his keynote address.

Facilitated by the Finance Ministry through EPF, [email protected] will see active involvement and moral ownership from a few ministries.

“The Education and Youth and Sports Ministries will lead the youth-focused [email protected] and [email protected], while the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will look into the [email protected] component, and the Home Affairs and Human Resources Ministries will focus on the needs of [email protected],” Dr Mahathir said.

On the selected groups of individuals, the PM said the programme is targeted at very specific segments of the labour force as the country prepares the workforce for the future.

“For [email protected], our youth will inherit the nation as their lives define our future. As the Industrial Revolution 4.0 has opened so many opportunities in the technical and vocational sectors, we want to encourage our youths to become skilled in TVET fields.

“We have [email protected] because women hold up half the sky. In every juncture of our history, women, who are primary caretakers of the family unit, have played an integral role in raising future Malaysians with strong values. More so in times of economic change,” he said.

Additionally, Dr Mahathir said he wants the country’s 3D workers to know that they work in dignified, dynamic and desirable jobs.

“As Malaysia aspires towards a developed nation status, we must look at countries that have made it like Japan and South Korea, who have so much pride in the everyday work that they do. No job is too lowly and so they have very little dependence on foreign labour,” he said.

He said the allocation of RM6.5 billion for [email protected] will create jobs for Malaysians over the next five years.

“The programme has many long-term multiplier effects that go beyond the five years: It creates jobs, learning opportunities and relationships that require collaboration.

“If we do this well, [email protected] will be the answer to driving sustainable progress and inclusive social wellbeing for the entire country,” he reiterated.