Warisan is PH’s fall guy, says academic
With Perikatan Nasional’s slim majority of two seats, every vote is significant, but previous instances have shown there were MPs from the opposition, besides Warisan, who also did not vote.
(FMT) – An academic has accused Pakatan Harapan (PH) of making Warisan its scapegoat for its failure to ensure bloc voting on the budget.
Lee Kuok Tiung of Universiti Malaysia Sabah pointed out that Warisan was not the only party that had broken ranks with the opposition over the budget.
He was commenting on criticism of Warisan for the absence of its MPs last Monday, when the budget estimates for the prime minister’s department and the finance ministry were approved.
Lee agreed with Warisan treasurer-general Terrence Siambun that it was pointless for Warisan to vote since its eight MPs would not bring any difference to the voting in the Dewan Rakyat.
“The vote numbers are usually seen as 106, 107 or 108 in favour of the government and 95 for the opposition,” he told FMT.
“With Perikatan Nasional’s slim majority of two seats, every vote is significant, but previous instances have shown there were MPs from the opposition, besides Warisan, who also did not vote. The DAP, for example, did not stand to reject the budget at the policy stage last Thursday.
“So I think they are trying to make Warisan the scapegoat.”
The Warisan whip, Labuan MP Rozman Isli, recently acknowledged that the absence of Warisan MPs from several budget votes was a deliberate move to show the party’s displeasure with PH leader Anwar Ibrahim.
This prompted Sabah PKR Youth information chief Razeef Rakimin to berate Rozman for what he described as a childish excuse.
Former Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau joined in the criticism, saying the Warisan MPs had let taxpayers down.
But Sabah DAP has come to Warisan’s defence, with its publicity chief Phoong Jin Zhe criticising Boo for damaging the ties between the two parties in the state.
PKR communications director Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil told Warisan to be ready with an explanation if members of the public were to ask whether it was helping Perikatan Nasional (PN) to stay in power.
Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking responded by denying his party was working with PN or Barisan Nasional.
“This diversity in voices should be celebrated to prevent the emergence of a dictatorship or an autocratic system of leadership,” he said, adding that there had also been instances of infighting in PN.
However, Bridget Welsh of the University of Nottingham (Malaysia) said the opposition should not have washed dirty linen in public.
“PH Plus needs to learn how to keep its differences inside rather than in public,” she said. “It looks childish and erodes faith in all concerned. It’s self-destructive behaviour.”
Lee concurred with Welsh, saying there was no need for DAP and PKR to air their grievances through the media.