Calling Malaysian’s to support Aliran’s online petition calling for a two-week sitting.
Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof did the right thing in dismissing Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s motion of confidence in Dr Mahathir Mohamad to establish the fact that he commanded majority support in Parliament. The intention was good, but the procedure was wrong. It was like putting the cart before the horse.
On the other hand, Mahathir’s motion of no-confidence on Muhyiddin Yassin is the right approach to ascertain if Muhyiddin enjoys majority support in Parliament to continue serving as the eighth prime minister of Malaysia. This should be the first item on the agenda on May 18 when Parliament meets. It is important and crucial to confirm that Muhyiddin is indeed the country’s prime minister.
If Muhyiddin’s position is not confirmed, then all that he has done and will continue to do will not be legitimate. The stamp of approval by Parliament is the litmus test for Muhyiddin to claim that he has the majority support to remain and continue as prime minister.
But will this test be permitted, to remove all doubts and suspicions that are staring at us?
The trick that may be resorted to is to push for all government’s businesses to have precedence and thereby use up all the time available and end parliamentary sitting without putting Mahathir’s motion to a vote. This would not be acceptable. This will be literarily taking Parliament for a ride.
They may also move a motion to appoint a new House speaker who will be beholden to them to ensure Mahathir’s motion will not see the light of day. The new speaker will either dismiss it outright or delay it by putting the motion at the bottom of the Order Paper. Parliament will be so managed that the government businesses will drag on, thus denying any time to debate Mahathir’s motion.
Be it as it may, it is left to Malaysians to defend our Parliament and ensure that it will not be made a mockery of. Parliamentary procedure should not be desecrated!
MPs shouting for a two-week parliamentary sitting will likely to fall on deaf ears. They alone cannot save our Parliament. Only we can – when we act collectively with determination and conviction.
How do we go about it?
Aliran has launched an online petition calling for a two-week sitting. So far, this campaign has exceeded 50,000 signatures. In fact, it is going on inexorably – it has now gone beyond 59,000.
Let me urge all fellow Malaysians to be part of this effort to bring the weight of the nation to bear on this backdoor government. Numbers have a way of driving home a truth which cannot be ignored.
Let us seriously get involved in this effort by signing this petition. Let us persuade all our friends and relatives to sign it too.
In the ultimate analysis, it is the political parties that can make a difference. They have the numbers, they have the mobilisation machinery, and they have the means and the capacity to call upon every member to sign this petition. These political parties have an obligation and a responsibility to round up their members to rally behind this petition and support it.
With the full commitment of the political parties – if they are sincere in wanting and respecting our parliamentary democracy – we should within a number of days hit a million mark, perhaps even more! Will they rise up to this challenge?
All political parties, PKR, Bersatu, Amanah, Warisan and DAP (and those in the government too) have a duty and an important role to play in this campaign. At the end of the day, we will know how well you fought the battle and how serious you were in defending our freedom and upholding our parliamentary democracy.
Every signature counts. For those who may ask what can my one signature achieve, let me tell you that great things are achieved collectively when we act together. This was so eloquently expressed by Robert Kennedy in a message of hope:
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.
“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
The future of Malaysia is in your hands. You can read more about the campaign and sign the petition here. – Malaysiakini
The views expressed here are strictly those of the writer, a former president of Aliran.