According to Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad (PAS-Pasir Puteh), some PAS MPs voted against the domestic trade, co-operatives and consumerism ministry’s Supply Bill 2018 to teach the ministry a lesson.
- BN MPs rushed in to vote after bell had finished sounding and counting forms already signed
- Signed documents retracted, allegedly to add late MPs’ votes
- Opposition MPs protested Domestic Trade minister “supervising” vote count
- Counting process took an inordinately lengthy 15 minutes
- Cries of “cheating” filled the hall
Nik Mazian said they were against the rising cost of living and they wanted the ministry to know they had not supported the bill based on what was happening on the ground.
“We voted according to our conscience,” Nik Mazian told reporters at the Dewan Rakyat.
“(To) teach them a lesson.”
Nik Mazian said the PAS MPs did not have a pre-council meeting to discuss whether to vote for or against the bill, adding that the MPs’ decision was made “then and there”.
The Supply Bill 2018 was passed at the policy stage about two weeks ago. Lawmakers are now debating the bill at the committee level, where they will discuss it in detail.
Chaos reigned at the Dewan Rakyat on Monday night as lawmakers rushed into the house from the lobby to vote.
The provision under the Supply Bill 2018 was approved with the narrowest of margins, with 52 voting for it, 51 against it and two other MPs present in the house abstaining.
The six MPs who went against the bill were Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena), Ahmad Marzuk Shaary (Bachok), Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (Dungun), Nik Mazian (Pasir Puteh), Izani Husin (Pengkalan Chepa) and Ahmad Baihaki Atiqullah (Kubang Kerian).
The two PAS MPs who abstained from voting were Idris Ahmad (PAS-Bukit Gantang) and Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (Rantau Panjang).
The bloc vote at the committee stage was called for by G Manivanan (PKR-Kapar) just after Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin wrapped-up his speech.
Many BN MPs were not present when the bell to announce the bloc vote was rung.
“When the bell was rung for a vote, we clearly outnumbered Umno BN by 7 votes.
“The counting process started and the counting forms were eventually signed. After that point, other Umno BN MPs and ministers rushed in and the signed documents were retracted. The process delayed further until they had enough numbers. This is a blatant abuse of the counting process.
“To add fuel to our anger, and despite our strong protests, the Domestic Trade minister can be seen in the counting area to ‘supervise’ the vote count. The counting process took an inordinate long 15 minutes to count,” Wong Chen (PKR-Kelana Jaya) said in a Facebook post.
On seeing that some BN MPs were still rushing in to vote although the bell had finished sounding for a full two minutes, Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara), Mohamad Imran Abdul Hamid (PKR-Lumut) and Su Keong Siong (DAP-Ipoh Timur) were heard shouting “tipu” (cheating) at deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee.
Fauzi Abdul Rahman (PKR-Indera Mahkora) called for the Dewan Rakyat door to be shut to bar more latecomers from entering.
Following Kiandee’s announcement that 51 MPs had voted against the allocation, as opposed to 52 who voted for it to be passed, the Dewan erupted into another shouting match as Opposition lawmakers asked to review the voting list.
“The whole world is watching. Can we review the list? Why is this happening? Why did you have to wait (for those who were late to enter the Dewan)?
“The list was already signed off by you, so why was it adjusted? This is disgraceful,” Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) said.
Among the MPs alleged by the opposition to have entered late and allowed to vote were Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom), Koh Nai Kwong (BN-Alor Gajah), Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) and Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera).
A visibly enraged Khalid Samad (Amanah-Shah Alam) told BN to stop “cheating” and urged for voting to be conducted with honesty.
Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) alleged that there was a conspiracy taking place when the bloc vote was in process.
However, Kiandee said that there was no provision in the Standing Orders to dictate a time frame for MPs to be in the Dewan and that there was no rule that the votes of MPs who had entered late could not be counted.
“I have studied this. There was no infringement,” Kiandee said.
The ensuing chaos that lasted for almost 15 minutes ended with most opposition MPs walking out of the hall.
At a press conference outside, Gobind said there are rules that give effect to the proceedings of the House.
“You cannot say that you don’t have a time limit and you can just keep waiting until you get the necessary numbers that you need in order to see the Bill through.
“It is clear that only those present in the Dewan can vote, and the issue is whether the Speaker can wait for latecomers to cast their votes as well,” Gobind said.