Test your majority in Parliament

David Siaw

KUCHING: A local lawyer concurs with former Federal Court Judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram to have the vote of confidence on the Prime Minister be tested on the parliamentary floor.

David Siaw, former chairman, Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) Miri branch, described Sri Ram’s remarks as ‘most apt’, adding, “Only then the vote of the MPs present inside the Dewan Rakyat can have their votes recorded in accordance with parliamentary procedures and conventions.”

He pointed out that the unconventionality and peculiarity of the current government under Perikatan Nasional (PN) was that it was not formed due to the usual majority of MPs elected under a political entity but that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad unilaterally resigned in February last year.

“One must note that there was no opportunity to test the vote of confidence in Parliament for Tun Mahathir then,” he said.

He said due to the unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic and the increasing infections early last year, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong must have been in a dilemma; if he were to dissolve Parliament and therefore invoke the General Election process for a new mandate, this would go against health advice and pose unnecessary dangers to citizens during the health crisis.

“Dissolving Parliament then was not an option,” he said.

“Malaysia has now reached a crossroad with unknown exits. I am of the opinion that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has all the constitutional power to decree that the Dewan Rakyat ought to have an earlier sitting to determine the vote of confidence on the Prime Minister.

“We as Malaysians and law-abiding citizens are therefore hopeful that a motion on the vote of confidence for the Prime Minister can be held in the Dewan Raykat as soon as practicable in order for a new leader helming our nation and getting us out of this pandemic,” he said.