CENBET co-president Gan Ping Sieu: End political uncertainty by proving legitimacy in Parliament
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

It is often said that politics is a game of numbers, especially in a democracy. It is becoming increasingly common for Malaysians to hear of various politicians claiming that they have the numbers. This does not bode well for political stability in the country if we keep changing governments mid-term.

As a matter of legitimacy and accountability, the present government should take the initiative to secure a vote of confidence to put the issue to rest.

As motions filed by the government takes precedence over that of backbenchers and Opposition MPs, the Perikatan Nasional Government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin can put a swift end to all speculations by securing a vote of confidence in Dewan Rakyat.

Rather than being on the back foot due to a string of motions of no confidence filed by various MPs, the Government of the Day can seize the initiative and put to rest all disputes on the legitimacy.

Through a vote of confidence, the Government of the Day can show that it commands the confidence of the legislature, and therefore is the legitimate authority to govern the country.

Our economy, like many other economies across the globe, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our GDP contracted by 17.1% in Q2, and the World Bank forecasts that our economy will contract by 4.9% for 2020. As businesses struggle to survive and unemployment rising, political instability is the last thing Malaysia needs.

This is illustrated in FBM KLCI dropping 1.1% on Sept 23, the day Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim declared that he had obtained firm support to form the government. This example is not a case for or against Anwar, but rather, it shows that business community and investors do not favour political uncertainty.

It is time for our elected representatives to show their hands in Dewan Rakyat and put an end to this uncertainty.

While Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun has defended the order of motions using Standing Orders of the House, there are also valid arguments that  Standing Orders do not prevail over the spirit and letter of the Federal Constitution.

But that debate may be academic if the Government of the Day seizes the initiative by calling for a vote of confidence, thus making it clear on whom has the majority command in the August house
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