Several Members of Parliament from the ruling government were spotted napping or on their phones in Dewan Rakyat yesterday, 18 May
In a report by China Press, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang were spotted napping, while UMNO president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was seen scrolling on his phone.
At the time, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah was delivering his royal address to open the third term of the 14th Parliamentary session.
Netizens spotted the distracted MPs while watching live footage of the Parliament sitting, sparking concerns that the MPs were disrespecting the Agong and wondering if they were even listening.
As the footage pans over other members of the ruling coalition, UMNO supreme council member Tan Sri Noh Omar was also seen with his eyes shut
Former higher education minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem were spotted tapping their phones while the Agong spoke about the RM260 billion economic stimulus package.
The MPs were seen sitting on the upper deck of the ruling government side and their names were cross-checked with the new Parliament seating plan published by Malaysiakini.
The live footage was broadcast by state-owned television RTM
It was previously reported that only official media were allowed to attend Dewan Rakyat to cover the first Parliament sitting under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration.
The one-day Parliamentary session yesterday is unprecedented in Malaysian history. It was convened with the royal address being the only agenda, while MPs were barred from asking questions pertinent to the governance of the country.
The Agong contended that the reason for the restriction is to prevent the country from going into another political crisis.