SEREMBAN: Saturday’s floods should have been debated in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (pic).

The Umno deputy president said denying an urgent motion to debate the most pressing national interest issue, at the most critical moment, was very insensitive, an unparliamentary act and a serious neglect of responsibility.

“There is no bigger or major agenda than the extraordinary floods that hit the country a few days ago.

“Government accountability is not to be explained at a press conference.

“It must be done in Parliament in accordance with the status and role of the august House,” he said in a statement.

Several MPs had asked Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun to allow the matter to be debated but he refused as it was not listed in the order paper.

He said the agenda for the day was the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Bill 2021.

“I am sorry, if you want clarification from the minister, it is up to the minister to submit a notice to me to give his explanation.

“We cannot keep jumping from one issue to another without the issue being in our agenda,” Azhar was reported as saying.

Several Opposition lawmakers stood up to protest the decision, but Azhar was firm that all parties needed to follow the House rules and asked them to adhere to decorum.

Mohamad said Parliament was the main arena for all the interests of the country and the people to be discussed and debated.

“It is not a static institution that only functions according to the agenda of routine meetings.

“It is the most important moral and democratic institution in national and state life,” he added.

He said Parliament was also a place where the government should explain all actions, in its power, to deal with all crises that arise.

“It seems that Malaysia is falling behind in the maturity of its democracy, if we have a Parliamentary leadership that prioritises meeting arrangements over government accountability to the people,” he added.