Finance minister: ‘Most powerful’ PM can answer parliamentary questions for me

Ida Lim
Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today said the prime minister can answer on his behalf questions raised in Parliament, due to the latter’s status as the “most powerful” person in the government’s executive arm.

Lim was quizzed by reporters regarding the PM’s answering of a question that was directed to the Ministry of Finance, as the minister or deputy minister typically answers in Parliament.

“The prime minister is the most powerful (individual in the Executive branch). Of course, he has the right (to answer a question on my behalf.)

“This shows he has the accountability attitude on the matter that was brought up (to the government),” he was quoted saying at the Parliament lobby by news portal Malaysiakini.

The first question in the Dewan Rakyat sitting today was by Barisan Nasional’s Bagan Datuk MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to the finance minister.

Zahid had asked for the rationale for Malaysia’s desire to obtain a loan from Japan which had a stronger currency value as compared to the ringgit despite the proposed loan interest being low, and had also asked if that would increase the national debt.

According to Malaysiakini, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had replied the question.