Johari Abdul wants MPs to not prioritise politics over representation when in Dewan Rakyat

KUALA LUMPUR: Members of parliament (MPs) must put the interests of the people over political views in order to maintain cordial debates in Dewan Rakyat.

Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul said this was due to the fact that when MPs attempted to speak up in Parliament, they positioned themselves as politicians rather than the people's representatives.

"They want to be a politician, whereas they forget that they are MPs, selected by the people and bringing their hope into the Dewan.

"But instead, they (MPs) get carried away as a party member when seeing all these 12 to 13 cameras fixated on them. So, they play politics.

"Sometimes, I have to remind them that they are being paid to come into the Dewan to talk about the rakyat (people) and their concerns," he said during a talk programme "Bual Bicara Setahun Parlimen Ke-15", earlier tonight.

Johari said they must draw a line to determine when they should switch from being politicians to being people's representatives.

"The moment you step into it (Parliament) together with the hope of the people and community, you are an MP.

"Being an MP means that they must have decorum and discipline. There is a way of speaking, good use of language and pleasant argument which results in a good discussion.

"But it is not easy (to manage them)," he said in jest.

Johari added that the key to maintaining decorum in the Parliament was understanding the diverse backgrounds of members and guiding them toward meaningful debates.

Previously, there have been instances of drama erupting and MPs being ejected from Dewan Rakyat sessions.

On Sep 19, Putrajaya MP Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin was ejected after pestering Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to withdraw a statement.

Meanwhile, on Nov 20, the Dewan Rakyat faced a somewhat one-sided affair when not a single opposition MP was present during the minister's question time (MQT) session.

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