Internal conflict over draft hazardous substance bill blamed for lack of quorum
House Speaker Chuan Leekpai told Thailand’s MPs today (Thursday) that he decided to suspend the sitting yesterday because, due to conflicting opinions over amendments to the Hazardous Substances Act, several legislators had deliberately not inserted their ID cards to declare their presence, resulting in a lack of a quorum.
He said that, as a result of the deadlock over the bill, several MPs in the chamber decided not to declare their presence.
Whether such an act by the MPs in question amounts to an ethical violation, Mr. Chuan said that the issue would need to be investigated.
Because of the vested interests involved, particularly relating to importation of hazardous substances for farm use in Thailand, any change of the law may impact or benefit the importing companies. Even Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Srion, of the Democrat Party, and his deputy, Mananya Thaiset of the Bhumjaithai Party, have been in conflict over hazardous substances to be restricted in Thailand.
About the draft itself, Mr. Chuan said he was told by the House scrutiny committee that the draft is an urgent matter, but the committee itself is split and cannot settle their differences adding, however, that he would not object if the proponent of the draft wants to withdraw it for reconsideration.