MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Riot sparks riot in House when refusing to answer questions

Opposition lawmakers in Parliament annoyed by Human Resources Minister's refusal to answer supplementary questions on Socso.
KUALA LUMPUR: All hell broke lose in the Dewan Rakyat today when Human Resources Minister Richard Riot Anak Jaem refused to answer supplementary questions by Opposition MPs on the employees Social Security (Amendment) Bill 2015.
An argument broke out after Riot told the House he would not respond to any supplementary questions on the subject, with G Manivannan (PKR-Kapar) saying Riot’s stance would set a wrong precedent as all MPs “were here to debate.”
M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) in lamenting that lawmakers were losing a golden opportunity, said, “There is nothing to hide. He is in the hot seat. I want more people to benefit.”
Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) also expressed disappointment with Riot, saying that Parliament was pointless if “MPs were only given the opportunity to listen to a minister’s monologue.”
Riot, in response, stressed he had earlier stated he had no intention to take supplementary questions.
“Yet, Ipoh Barat intervened four times,” Riot said, alluding to Kulasegaran.
As the war of words escalated, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia calmly said those who held the floor were given the liberty to choose whether they would allow others to intervene or ask questions.
The session today was a continuation from yesterday’s debate on Section 74A that empowers Socso to set up or take over a company, and Section 75A(2) which removes Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) from the Socso investment panel.
Riot explained that Section 74A was meant to increase the efficiency of Socso and was “not a bail out for any company.”
The amendment, he added, would allow staff to be hired on a permanent basis as currently, staff were hired on a contract basis only.
Riot also explained that the removal of BNM from the panel was done based on a written request from the central bank itself dated July 12, 2010.
“As a regulatory body, the BNM representative felt (their presence would) be a conflict of interest,” he said, adding that a similar move was made in the Armed Forces Fund Board.
Later however, another argument broke out in the second stage of the debate when Kulasegaran’s proposal to speak on behalf of Hanipa Maidin (Amanah-Sepang), who was absent from Parliament today, was rejected outright by Pandikar.
“I am only chairing. Don’t pressure me. Don’t make me break the standing orders for your own political and personal interests,” Pandikar said firmly.

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