KUALA LUMPUR – The Ministers’ Question Time (MQT) which was held for the first time at the Dewan Rakyat sitting to allow ministers to answer questions on serious issues is the best way to clarify matters.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the MQT allowed all parties to ask questions to get a better and faster explanation from the ministry concerned.
The MQT also placed the “Parliamentary system on a higher level of respect,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, was the first minister to answer questions at the MQT session which was held at the start of the Dewan Rakyat session, here today.
Besides Ahmad Zahid, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman answered questions on the redelineation process of electoral boundaries by the Election Commission, while Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani answered questions on the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).
The MQT which is part of the first phase of the Parliament transformation plan is held every Tuesday and Thursday for 30 minutes before the oral question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat sitting.
Questions for the MQT must be submitted to the office of Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia at the latest by 10am one day before the session begins, so for the Tuesday session, the questions must reach the office by 10am on Monday to allow the relevant Ministry to discuss the answers.
Meanwhile, Azalina Othman reprimanded members of Parliament who still did not observe the time provided for questions.
She said there were still opposition members of Parliament who asked questions beyond the stipulated time.
“The time must be observed. There are still opposition members of Parliament who go beyond it. So hopefully, in the future, we will see positive and progressive developments during the MQT session,” she said.
She said members of Parliament who were still not satisfied with the answers could resubmit their questions but it was up to the ministry concerned to answer.
She added that the questions must be within the ministry’s scope and submitted 24 hours before the session began.