Pakatan Harapan Plus’s MoU is between parties, not signed by MPs

They say the basic nature of an MoU is dependent on the understanding inked among the parties involved.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Friday by the political groups that form the coalition government risks being voided at any time if any of the parties decide to withdraw, analysts say.

Kartini Aboo Talib of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said the basic nature of an MoU is dependent on the understanding inked among the parties involved.

“If there is no understanding, there is no need to continue a tyrannical agreement,” she said.

“If it is cancelled, then the vote of confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim can be challenged.”

The MoU, among others, removed the right of individual MPs to vote freely in the Dewan Rakyat.

Its signatories were Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and Warisan.

Kartini said the government had been formed on the assumption that the parties who agreed would lead collectively.

However, motions for a vote of confidence in the prime minister and support for the supply bill can be accepted as long as they do not affect MPs to the point of losing their seats.

“It was not right to lay down this condition,” Kartini said, referring to Clause 4 of the MoU which states that MPs are considered to have vacated their seats if they fail to vote on a motion of confidence, according to Article 49(A) of the Federal Constitution.

She said Clause 4 also violates Article 48 of the constitution on the conditions of disqualification for MPs, describing it as despotic and inclining towards a dictatorship.

Nizam Bashir, a law practitioner, said MPs are constitutionally bound to represent the stand of their constituents.

“This duty, in my opinion, trumps anything set out in any MoU,” he said.

“Any restriction on their constitutional responsibility, especially if it is against the interests of the people, cannot be said to be consistent with the Federal Constitution.”