Accepting support from Bersatu defectors could open door to massive political instability

If these four MPs can now support the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim administration, why can’t it also be vice-versa?

V. Thomas. Focus Malaysia

THE decision by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership to accept all the four Bersatu MPs who have begun to support the unity government by way of a loophole in the anti-party hopping law is fraught with danger and could even lead to a Sheraton 2.0 move.

The anti-party hopping law which was rushed through the legislature has a number of loopholes, one of which can be manipulated by the defecting MPs under the guise of wanting parliamentary allocations for their constituents to go against their own party.

This could even turn out to be a trap by the opposition Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition to test the effectiveness of the anti-hopping legislation.

If these four MPs can now support the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim administration, why can’t it also be vice-versa?

The unity government is still holding on to a two thirds majority even though MUDA MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman’s refusal to render support meant that there is currently one seat short of a two thirds majority.

Having been convicted on corruption charges recently, the Muar MP is definitely not going to support the unity government any longer and may even hope that PN will capitalise on the void.

Even then, there is no valid reason to invite trouble by admitting Bersatu Party MPs to shore up the already overwhelming support for the unity government.

Whatever the case it, it seems that the Anwar administration is uninterested in carrying out major reforms as promised to the electorate who rallied to return Pakatan Harapan (PH) to power just a year ago yesterday (Nov 19) in the 15th General Election (GE15).

A simple majority will suffice to enact a host of new crucial reforms while a two thirds majority is only necessary for constitutional changes. Then why is there a need for wanting the support of opposition MPs knowing full well the inherent danger in the process?

Why if PN retaliate by enticing PH MPs especially from UMNO who oppose the party’s acceptance of DAP as its ally?

Disgruntlement within UMNO

It is an open secret that UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has a tenuous hold on the party even as its own MPs not to mention Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties are very much disillusioned and frustrated by the failure of the unity government’s indifference to resolve the hardship of the people through effective socio-economic programmes and initiatives.

It must be noted that most of the UMNO MPs after the GE15 were ready to join a PN government before the UMNO president reined them in to support the PH coalition very much to the dislike of many.

If the four Bersatu MPs can switch support without running afoul of the anti-party hopping law, then what is there to prevent UMNO and BN MPs from doing likewise to support PN or may be stay neutral?

This could then elicit calls for a no-confidence vote in Parliament and pave the way for more political instability. The support of the East Malaysian parties will be crucial in a renewed tug-of-war reminiscent of the November 2022 post-GE15 horse trading.

Even with the current one-year political stability, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has done little to ease the hardship of the people; therefore, one can surmise that the unity government will be in a state of paralysis if it faced a graver chaotic situation.

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