Ministers get 10 minutes for question time effective today

The new ruling, however, does not permit supplementary questions to be asked during the session


THE Parliament has passed a motion to allocate 10 minutes for Minister’s Question Time (MQT) which will allow ministers to answer questions directly instead of written replies in the Dewan Rakyat.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the changes will take effect today.

The new ruling, however, does not permit supplementary questions to be asked during the session.

“Based on Standing Order 90(2) and the agreement from the Dewan Rakyat speaker, I table the motion to stop the enforcement of Standing Orders 24(5A), 24A(5) and 24A(7) to enable the MQT session to be shortened.

“This is to allow a member to read the question and the minister will respond without taking any supplementary questions, from Thursday, Nov 19, 2020, until Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

On Nov 5, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun decided to allocate five minutes for the MQT, where three questions will be read by members who posed them and the ministers will answer via written replies.

The replies will then be uploaded onto the Parliament website.

The ruling was made after the daily Dewan Rakyat sitting was shortened in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the Parliament. Sittings are now from 10am to 2pm.

Takiyuddin said the motion was tabled following a proposal from Khoo Poay Tiong (Pakatan Harapan-Kota Melaka) yesterday who asked for the speaker to allow ministers to answer the questions orally during the session.

Separately, in a statement yesterday, Azhar said he had informed the Election Commission (EC) chairman on the passing of Gerik MP, Datuk Hasbullah Osman.

“Therefore, in line with Article 54, Clause (1) of the Federal Constitution, the EC needs to fill the vacant seat for P.054 Gerik, Perak, within 60 days from the date verified by the EC on the vacancy,” he said.

Hasbullah died on Monday in Raub, Pahang, due to heart disease. He was 63.