Malaysian MPs Score 'A-' For Their Attendance In Parliament

Former premiers Datuk Seri Najib Razak scored 'C-', while Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin scored 'F'.

Cover image via AFP via Daily Sabah & Bernama via Free Malaysia Today

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Malaysian members of parliament (MPs) scored a less than ideal grade on their attendance rate at the Dewan Rakyat sittings between 26 July 2021 and 24 March 2022

Citing data from MyMP — a civil society group run by a group of volunteers in collaboration with the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) — Malaysiakini reported that MPs attended 54.5 out of the total 71 days of Dewan Rakyat sittings on average.

That makes up a score of 79.6%, which is an 'A-' grade according to the University of Malaya's (UM) grade point average (GPA) system.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs scored an above-average attendance of 63.1 days (88.9%), while MPs on the government bench scored an average attendance of 52 days (73.1%). 

The MP with the lowest attendance was PKR Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng, who only attended 13 days

However, Teo told Malaysiakini that his low attendance was due to his health. He fell ill three times since July last year.

During the period, he was also admitted to the hospital for 10 days and is currently still receiving thyroid medication treatment.

PKR Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng.

Image via PKR Parlimen Miri P.219 (Facebook)

Other than Teo, several top party leaders also had low attendance rates

Former premier and current National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman — which carries ministerial status —Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin attended only 17 out of 71 days of Dewan Rakyat sittings, reported Malaysiakini.

Below are other top brass political leaders with a low attendance rate:
1. Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal: 20 days
2. PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang: 21 days
3. Then PSB member Datuk Masir Kujat: 26 days
4. Pejuang chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad: 26 days
5. MIC deputy president Datuk Seri M Saravanan: 27 days

Meanwhile, former prime minister and Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak attended 34 days, while Opposition leader and Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim attended 54 days.

Cilisos, citing data between 26 July 2021 and 7 March 2022, reported that 30 MPs (13.5%) from both political divides did not attend more than half of the Dewan Rakyat sittings.

Pagoh MP Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Image via Bernama via Free Malaysia Today

On the other hand, these were the MPs with a perfect attendance rate

– Bersatu Libaran MP Datuk Zakaria Mohd Edris
– UMNO Jempol MP Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Mohd Shariff
– PAS Sik MP Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman
– PAS Tumpat MP Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi


– PKR Merbok MP Nor Azrina Surip
– PKR Subang MP Wong Chen
– UPKO Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau
– DAP Bukit Bendera MP Wong Hon Wai
– DAP Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh
– DAP Kampar MP Thomas Su Keong Siong
– DAP Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming
– DAP Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan
– DAP Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun
– DAP Seremban MP Anthony Loke Siew Fook
– DAP Lanang MP Alice Lau Kiong Yieng
– Amanah Temerloh MP Datuk Mohd Anuar Mohd Tahir
– Amanah Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad
– Amanah Tampin MP Datuk Dr Hasan Bahrom

These 18 MPs with a perfect attendance record did not even make up 10% of the 222 total MPs.

Data published by Cilisos shows that MPs from UPKO (only Wilfred), MUDA (only Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman), and Amanah had the highest attendance rates:

However, an MP's performance should not be dictated by their attendance in the Dewan Rakyat

Speaking to BFM, political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat explained that most MPs hold two jobs, especially those in the government with ministerial status.

"Their job is to be a minister and going to parliament is sort of a form of formality to answer questions," said Wong.

"If they are not a minister, especially if they are backbenchers, then their main role is to serve their constituents. In other words, to be the boss of the constituency's service centre. To be in parliament is not something that important."

He is of the opinion that a decent attendance record is a necessary criterion to judge an MP's performance, but that alone is not enough.  

Instead, he suggested the government set up more committees to get more non-ministerial MPs to participate as there are only 10 committees now, leaving about 50 MPs with less work to do.

Cilisos also seconded this argument, pointing out that some MPs with a high attendance rate were not being productive because they did not ask many questions in the Dewan Rakyat.

As an example, Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin asked 13 questions despite attending only 24 sessions, while Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar asked one question in his 59 days of attendance.

The Dewan Rakyat is a democratic avenue to discuss matters concerning the nation, but it can also be a place with bizarre happenings:

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