National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh on Wednesday rejected a request from a lawmaker to equip parliamentarians’ cars with sirens so they can get to assembly sessions on time.
Khlok Buddhi half-jokingly made the request for sirens after complaining that many of the assembly’s 122 lawmakers miss sessions, and said he is the only one who comes to work every day, even when he is sick. On average, 90 lawmakers are present during each session.
“Sometimes I have a stomach ache, but I still come to the assembly so it will have a quorum,” the Funcinpec lawmaker said. “But some people are always absent so it is not fair to me.”
Khlok Buddhi said part of the problem was the bad roads and traffic jams that make getting to the National Assembly a time-consuming task. “If I have a siren, maybe I can come to work more quickly,” he said.
Prince Ranariddh agreed that many lawmakers are absent, and said he already asked administrators to check parliamentarians’ attendance records.
But he asked if Khlok Buddhi would withdraw his siren request, saying he himself does not want to have a siren on his car because of the attention it draws.
“If you have a siren, it’s difficult to go anywhere,” Prince Ranariddh said. “Especially when I drive to the assembly, the protesters run to the cars that have sirens and look at me. It makes me feel uneasy.”
He advised lawmakers who don’t have sirens attached to their cars to wake up earlier to make it to the assembly session on time.