Saturday, May 16, 2020

PM Muhyiddin and PN :- Death of Parliamentary Democracy? Next Parliamentary session in 6 Months?

Will Muhyiddin and PN [and/or all the elected Members of Parliament(MPs)] effectively 'kill' parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

Now, within 6 months from the close of the last Parliamentary session, the new session of Parliament is for only ONE day? And there will be just the the King's opening speech and no debate? I still do not understand why MPs were not even allowed to submit QUESTIONS - even questions requiring oral answers, noting also that most questions for oral answers normally will only get written answers? Is there no Ministers who can answer these questions?

3 Branches of Government - the Executive(PM and Cabinet), the Legislature(Parliament) and the Judiciary > and the role of each of these different branches is to serve as a 'check and balance' to the other branches. This is to prevent any branch, like the Cabinet from becoming too powerful or even 'dictatorial'.

MPs, Senators, the Parliament(Dewan Rakyat, Senate and the King) is there also to keep an eye on the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to make sure that they do not abuse their powers or do any wrong...but with a Parliament Session of just one day, with no right to debate and ask questions but simply listen to the King's speech; can Parliament(or the Legislature) effectively carry out its role?

In this modern age of computers and online tel-conferencing, Parliament could have so easily proceeded as usual without the need for MPs to be physically present at the Dewan Rakyat - Why not do this? 


In Parliament, the MPs(who are not in Cabinet) have a duty to make sure that the PM and Cabinet is not doing(or failing to do what is right) this is the duty of not just the Opposition party and independent MPs, but also the MPs not in the Cabinet coming from the parties that now form the government - the BACKBENCHERS.

Sadly, during the BN(and even the PH rule), these 'Backbencher' MPs including Anwar Ibrahim(not in Cabinet) did little to question the PM and Cabinet - WHY? Afraid of their own parties?

Worse now, during the PN rule, is that these 'Backbencher MPs' may be 'bribed' or 'silenced' with gifts and positions and 'monies' - we recall, a statement by Takiyuddin Hassan(Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Law and Parliment) making a comment that all government party MPs may be appointed to positions in government-linked companies(GLCs) ... All these appointments to non-Cabinet positions may also come with 'power' and even additional monies for these MPs ; would such 'gifts', that could also be easily taken away as they were given', also be seen as a 'consideration' and/or a 'threat' for these government backbencher MPs to abandon their 'check and balance' functions - and not be critical of the PM and his Cabinet? Would this also result in the asking of 'bad questions' of the Minister during question time to prevent other real questions - since the number of questions are limited in Parliament?

The compromising of backbencher MPs is not something new - it also happened during the BN and also the PH rule as well - what nonsense, when millions of 'government funds' are given just to 'government MPs' for their constituencies, whilst Opposition MPs received none or a far less amount? {We hoped that when the Coalition of Hope(Pakatan Harapan) came into power, they would have abolished such practices, which many criticized such practices when BN ruled - it sadly did not happen}.

Next Parliamentary Session in 6 months time?

Now, after this one-day Parliamentary session, there will be no requirement for Parliament to sit again for about 6 months - remember, Constitution says that the subsequent session need to happen only before the lapse of 6 months...

Why did no one go to Court yet?

Wondering also why Anwar Ibrahim(now 'Opposition' leader) or some other Opposition MP did not file a court case yet declaring this 'one day' session is ILLEGAL ...or...?

Does Muhyiddin still enjoy support of majority?

The question as to whether Muhyiddin Yassin still enjoys the support of the majority of MPs is still lingering ... we believe that he did have the support of the majority, according to the assessment of the King then, when the King decided and issued the letter appointing Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister...

We know that after that letter of appointment, before the formal ceremony, there was an allegation made that Mahathir had managed to get the support of 114(or 115) MPs - but within hours, 2 MPs on that list came out denying this...The King then did not want to meet Mahathir or PH leaders before the ceremony...BUT after Muhyiddin was sworn in, there really was nothing stopping anyone to go and meet the King proving that Muhyiddin no longer enjoys the confidence of the majority - and also maybe that some other did. {There were also other ways of demonstrating this to the Malaysian public - but nothing happened ...WHY? Note a 'no confidence' vote in Parliament is but one option, but in mu opinion, not the best...

Will a 'no confidence vote' supported by less than the majority of MPs (i.e. less than 112 MPs) mean anything? If it was supported by 112 or more, then maybe it is clear undeniable evidence that Muhyiddin has indeed lost the support of the majority of MPs? 

SPEAK UP MPs - Let the people know you, your views..

MPs are peoples' representatives - There is NOTHING preventing them from speaking up outside the Dewan Rakyat - they can speak up even question government failings in so many ways - they can BLOG or post in their own BLOGs/Websites/FB Pages about their viewpoints, their support or criticism of government actions/failings, etc ...just like Dr Mahathir, Lim Kit Siang ( and some are doing ... it helps the people know their views and opinions...These blogs/websites/FB Pages should not just be for photos of visits and things that the MP is doing; People want to know your views and opinions...and your stance on different issues. {The support for Mahathir and Kit Siang is because of this continuing sharing of opinion and views on various issues ...sadly Anwar did not do many do not know what he really thinks ..} MPs can also issue press statements, open letters, etc ...they can also now using FB Live communicate to people...but alas MOST MPs do not use these available means of communication to communicate with the people...

Party Hopping - Lost in Confidence on MPs and Party Leaders that chose them

The problem now after all this 'party-hopping' and even changes in position(some maybe even in hours in the case of the choice of PMs) may have resulted in a LOSS OF CONFIDENCE of MPs generally - some more than others..

Party credibility also has been reduced drastically - so many PKR MPs and ADUNs hoped out not just from their parties, but also then joined their 'Opponents' - should we blame the political party leadership that chose them as candidates to be MP or ADUN

PKR and BERSATU has been most problematic compared to Amanah or DAP on this issue. 1 or a handful may be 'excusable' but PKR and BERSATU lost so many resulting in a change of government...Maybe time for the people to choose candidates in the future - something that is practiced in other jurisdiction rather than the President and some leaders.

PARLIAMENTARY REFORM - Who decides when Parliament sits and for how long? Well, this time it seems it was Prime Minister Muhyiddin ...should not Parliament be independent from the PM? Maybe, this date and duration of Parliamentary sessions should be fixed...(Well, since PH kept 'secret' the report of the institutional reform committee, we do not know whether this was their proposal too...)...but the PM should not have the power to decide when Parliament sits, and what will be allowed in Parliament when it sits...

"I received a letter signed by the Prime Minister who is the Ketua Majlis, informing that as the Covid-19 outbreak has not completely subsided, the government decided that the first meeting of the third session of the 14th Parliament would only take place for a day on May 18. "There will be no meeting after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's opening address," he said.

Only 26 or whatever quorum needed for Parliament to proceed need attend - Rest of MPs should #StayHome?  

If it is only the King's speech, why must all the MPs attend - all you need is quorum - and that is about 26 or 30 only.{So, why waste so much money for Covid-19 screening, transport, attendance allowance, etc ...someone said that attendance is 'mandatory', which I believe is wrong). If only the King's speech, could it not be a webinar...?

According to Malaysia's Parliamentary rules, there must be a minimum of 26 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat for proceedings to be held.

MEDIA Restrictions ODD and non-consistent with other media events

MEDIA not allowed to be present in Parliament cover, save government media???,...odd when Media is allowed to covered media conference by the DG MOH, Ismail Sabri, PM, etc, it cannot be said that the restriction of the media is because of Covid-19? [Anyway, Parliamentary session will be broadcasted live either way as it has been happening for some time, why 'look bad' by preventing media presence at the Dewan Rakyat?]

Some say that the Journalist are a better peoples' representative today compared to many elected peoples' reps who are just 'silent' and not asking any questions???TRUE? FALSE?

Federal lawmaker questions constitutionality of single-day Parliament meet

Klang MP Charles Santiago is pictured in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur October 10, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Klang MP Charles Santiago is pictured in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur October 10, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — Klang MP Charles Santiago has suggested that the first Parliamentary meeting of the year may not satisfy the requirements of the Federal Constitution as all debate has been barred.

The meeting will be held on May 18 to make up for the March Parliamentary meeting that was postponed following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

However, the new Perikatan Nasional administration has shortened the meeting to just a single day and will move to adjourn it after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s Royal Address.

Today, Santiago asked if the Royal Address alone satisfied the constitutional requirement for the Agong to convene a parliamentary meeting within six months of the last sitting to avoid the automatic dissolution of the federal legislature.

“If it does not, then isn’t this in violation of Article 55(1) of the Federal Constitution, which says the King shall not allow for an elapse of six months from the last sitting?

“Isn’t the government showing total disregard for the Federal Constitution and Parliamentary standing orders just to remain in power?” Santiago asked.

The government truncated the meeting to a single day without debate after citing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as the reason.

Opposition leaders previously suggested that the meeting be conducted virtually if social distancing measures were a barrier for their physical presence.

However, they have gone on to question the sincerity of the government’s given reason, after pointing out that all 222 federal lawmakers were allowed to attend the meeting once they have been tested for Covid-19.

They argued that this meant there was no reason not to continue with the full meeting or at least extend it for a few days to allow oversight of the government’s massive stimulus spending for Covid-19.- Malay Mail,15/5/2020

'Semua MP kerajaan akan dilantik ketuai GLC' - Menteri di JPM

Dikemaskini 12 Apr 2020, 5:39 pm

Semua anggota parlimen kerajaan persekutuan yang tidak dilantik sebagai menteri dan timbalan menteri akan dilantik mempengerusikan agensi dan syarikat berkaitan kerajaan (GLC).

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri (Undang-undang dan Parlimen) Takiyuddin Hassan berkata, beliau difahamkan semua anggota parlimen kerajaan akan diberi tanggungjawab mengendalikan GLC.

"MP PAS ada 18 orang, lapan orang dah jadi menteri dan timbalan menteri, seorang jadi duta khas perdana menteri ke Timur Tengah.

"Tinggal sembilan orang (lagi). Alhamdulillah saya difahamkan semua MP kerajaan akan diberikan tanggungjawab mengendalikan GLC.

"Kerana mereka semua ini layak, mereka ini adalah ahli parlimen," katanya kepada media ketika ditemui di Kompleks Kota Darulnaim, Kota Bharu, hari ini.

Terdahulu beliau mempengerusikan mesyuarat pengagihan peruntukan bantuan Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat kepada anggota-anggota Parlimen negeri Kelantan.

Takiyuddin yang juga anggota parlimen Kota Bharu berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas berhubung pelantikan politik khususnya pimpinan PAS ke sebarang agensi kerajaan persekutuan.

Terdahulu Malaysiakini melaporkan antaranya, anggota Parlimen Pasir Mas, Ahmad Fadhli Shaari dilantik sebagai pengerusi Lembaga Pengarah Perbadanan Tabung Pembangunan Kemahiran.

Sementara itu Takiyuddin berkata, secara umumnya setiap jawatan itu bergantung kepada undang-undang mengikut kementerian masing-masing.

Katanya, ada agensi atau GLC yang mana pengerusinya dilantik oleh Yang Di-Pertuan Agong dan ada lantikan yang dibuat oleh menteri berkaitan.

"Secara umumnya ada agensi atau GLC yang pengerusinya dilantik oleh Yang-Di-pertuan Agong, ada yang dilantik oleh menteri yang bertanggungjawab apabila GLC tersebut di bawah kementeriannya.

"Tapi untuk penyelarasan, semua cadangan lantikan pengerusi GLC mesti mendapat persetujuan daripada perdana menteri," jelasnya. - Malaysiakini, 12/4/2020

Move on no-confidence vote against Malaysia's Prime Minister unlikely

Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.
The Star/Asia News Network
Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof (pic) may have vast experience in law as the former Court of Appeal judge, yet nothing could have prepared him for the political drama when he assumed the post of Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

Considered a soft-spoken judge, he is nevertheless seen as firm, impartial and independent in his role as Speaker on matters of the House.

In an unexpected move, Mohamad Ariff has accepted a motion from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad seeking to move a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Dewan Rakyat.

However, analysts agree that there is very little chance for the motion to come up during the one-day sitting on Monday as in the past, government's affairs have taken precedence.

To reiterate this point, Mohamad Ariff issued a statement that the meeting - the first session of the year - would only feature the opening address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and that there would not be any other government business to attend to for that day.

"I received a letter signed by the Prime Minister who is the Ketua Majlis, informing that as the Covid-19 outbreak has not completely subsided, the government decided that the first meeting of the third session of the 14th Parliament would only take place for a day on May 18.

"There will be no meeting after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's opening address," he said.

Initially, a few matters were already set for the one-day meeting, including the supposed declaration of the Opposition Leader's appointment and the tabling of two Supplementary Supply Bills - much of it related to the Covid-19 fiscal stimulus package.

With Mohamad Ariff's statement, this pretty much put paid to those looking forward to see whether the no-confidence motion would come up.

But this does not mean there will not be any other development taking place besides the King's speech.

When the meeting convenes on Monday, 113 lawmakers will be sitting on the ruling coalition's side while 107 MPs will be on the opposite bench, making it one of the largest Opposition bloc in the country's history.

There are also two Independent MPs.

For the first time, lawmakers from a party in the ruling coalition - Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia - will sit on both sides of the bench following a split in leadership.

This will also be the first time that Dr Mahathir - the country's fourth and seventh prime minister - will sit on the Opposition bench in his 70-year political career while former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the government's bench.

Universiti Putra Malaysia's political analyst Prof Dr Jayum Jawan said bringing up the no-confidence motion was to be expected from the Opposition.

He argued that while the King had the power and prerogative under the Federal Constitution to appoint the prime minister and his decision should not be subjected to any dispute, the parliamentary process might demand that this majority support be proven in the House.

He said based on calculations, the Perikatan Nasional government led by Muhyiddin had the majority - as slim as this might be - so he was not expected to be challenged on Monday.

"The Prime Minister himself may also want to call the vote to show that he has the majority and therefore put to rest this leadership distraction."

According to the Parliament's Standing Orders, such a motion must first be tabled in Dewan Rakyat and the agenda determined by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of parliamentary affairs, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.

If and when such a motion is included into the Parliament's Order Paper, members of the 222-seat Parliament present during the debate - again, if at all it comes up for debate - will cast their votes.

This is similar to the Private Members Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 - also known as RUU355 - which was tabled by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and allowed in the Dewan but never got the chance to be debated.

Constitutional expert Prof Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz said such a motion had never occurred at the federal level.

"If the House has only a one-day meeting, there will be slim chance (for the no-confidence motion).

"But we cannot be sure ... the Speaker may decide otherwise," she said. - Asia One, 14/5/2020.

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