Motion of no confidence: Shouldn’t common sense prevail above rules and regulations?

The Perikatan Nasional government is tottering on the verge of collapse. At this juncture it is of utmost importance to determine whether it has the support of the majority in Parliament. It cannot pretend that everything is alright when it is not.

P Ramakrishnan, Former President of Aliran

With the slimmest majority it is on dangerous ground. It just takes two MPs to crossover and it will come down tumbling like Humpty Dumpty. It can’t survive or perform in such precarious position

At this crucial moment, debating government bills on a priority basis will be a waste of time. When PN is defeated – which is more than likely – the next government is not obliged to implement whatever that has been passed by parliament. The new government will have its own policies and priorities for the nation.

Common sense, therefore, would have it that we must first settle the crucial question of confidence in the PN government. Its legitimacy must be established as a matter of urgency. Only then, the government bills can be debated in parliament. Otherwise it will be like putting the cart before the horse!

The Speaker, Azhar Azizan Harun, may claim that we must go by the order paper and therefore refuse debate on the motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister. According to him, a minister must be persuaded to move the House to give precedence to the motion of no confidence – otherwise it cannot be debated on the first day of parliament on November 2, 2020. It will take a minister of impeccable character to make such a move in the interest of parliamentary democracy. Is there any in our parliament?

The Speaker’s stance is very contradictory to his former stand when he wasn’t part of the establishment in 2015.

Didn’t he then say?

“Now, can the speaker do that – (refusing priority) – in respect of a no-confidence vote? The answer is ‘no’. Because, again, by constitutional practice, a motion of no confidence must be brought first on the list.

“That is by convention or constitutional practice. It is not by law,” he said in the talk show that was uploaded on Sept 10, 2015.”

In other words, it is possible to debate the motion of no confidence as the first item when parliament convenes on November 2, 2020.

But now he is adopting an opposite view that is alarming and baffling.

This is what the American natives would say rightly, speaking with a forked tongue when you don’t live up to your words.

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