PKR’s Manivannan Quits as Secretary Whip over Bloc Vote Error

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The Kapar MP admits he missed out one vote in counting blunder.

Kapar MP G Manivannan resigned as PKR’s secretary whip after his tallying error caused Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers to lose their bid to vote down Budget 2018 last week, meaning the results of the voting would stand.

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia revealed earlier that Manivannan failed to sign off on the vote of DAP’s Stampin MP, Julian Tan, after calling for a bloc vote during the second reading for the annual budget for the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry last week.

“After checking, it was found that 51 MPs had voted against the allocation, and this was reflected in the final result,” Pandikar said.

Choo Choy May

Had Tan’s vote been tallied, PH would have tied 52-52 with Barisan Nasional (BN).

Chaos erupted last Monday in the Dewan Rakyat when BN won the bloc vote by a razor-thin margin, with 52 votes in favour as opposed to 51 nays from Opposition lawmakers, with two PAS lawmakers abstaining.

“As a matter of principle, I have resigned as the secretary whip with immediate effect and already conveyed my resignation to my chief whip, Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani MP),” Manivannan said in a statement on Nov 27.

Manivannan’s position is third in authority after Johari and his deputy chief whip.

“I have apologised to the House and YB Stampin (Tan), and they accepted (the apology).

“The omission of YB Stampin was not purposely done. It was absolutely a human error,” said the first-term parliamentarian.

However, he added that parliamentary officers assisting him then also did not point out his omission.

“The Speaker agreed the counting system is flawed. I have suggested a better calculation system in future,” he said.

To that, Pandikar Amin said the British system had a specific time frame and provisions to do so, and that the bell was just to alert MPs to enter the House.

“We will take this incident as an example. It is a new experience for us all,” he said.

In the bloc voting, Opposition lawmakers had argued that several BN MPs had entered the Dewan after the sounding of the bell had ended and that their vote should not count.

Earlier report: Nov 22, Why Some PAS MPs Voted Against Budget Allocation That BN Won by One Vote