Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"No confidence vote" NOW may be dangerous...

It is interesting to note that SABAH People Progressive Party (SAPP) has taken this stand now "..before the window of opportunity closes...". They have expressed that they have no confidence in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister. They go further stating that they have no confidence in the government - and that is this Barisan Nasional government.

They, however, put on hold the question of whether they would be pulling out from the National Front (the Barisan Nasional), stating that this they will say at another press conference on 20/6/2008(Friday).

Reading some of the newspaper reports, gave me the perception that they would be making that announcement about pulling out of BN the Friday following the 23/6/2008 when the "no confidence motion" is said to be tabled BUT no...they will most likely tell us whether they remain in BN or not on 20/6/2008, that is in 2 days.

We could get news from the various newspaper reports about what SAPP said BUT better still if we get it from the horse's mouth itself, and so off I went to the SAPP Official website, cut and pasted below the statement posted there entitled "Why SAPP is making this stand now?" (

Now, the question as to who will be moving the said No-Confidence Motion is not answered - SAPP said that they needed such a motion but fell short of stating that one of their 2 MPs will move it.

In any event, it is already a very BIG slap in the face for Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that a component party has come out and openly declared to the whole world that it has NO CONFIDENCE in the current PM and the government. In fact, whether there will be a 'no-confidence motion' or not in the Dewan Rakyat on 23/6/2008 matters not anymore...

The consequence of having a "No Confidence Motion" NOW

If the majority of the MPs in Parliament supports it- it means that the PM will have to resign, and the King appoints another PM( a new Cabinet) OR what will happen is that Parliament will be dissolved and we will have the 2nd General Election of 2008 (or maybe, worse case scenario, some proclamation of Emergency, eh??).

If the motion is defeated, then we have Abdullah Ahmad Badawi walking tall and looking strong. There will be no more the question of whether he enjoys the confidence of the majority or NOT.

After all, till this day, there is no positive indication that he does indeed enjoy "the confidence of the majority" in Parliament. Statements that he does do not count - we need to see hands raised, or signatures of the individual MPs on paper.

In fact there is also no indication that he has the support of the majority in UMNO today since he has never been voted in as President (let alone Deputy President) of UMNO. He just filled the empty-seat that Anwar left in 1998. And also by reason at that odd-undemocratic quota requirement, there has been no elections that he had to face that will prove that he has the support of the majority in UMNO.

Moving on, we wonder now how the BN MPs will vote?

I believe that many, who may have no confidence in the PM and/or the current government, may vote against the 'no-confidence' motion.

- Because, for them the consequence of the motion being carried is not acceptable, OR
- Because, it is just too sudden - and they do not have time to consult with party members and get feedback from their constituents, OR
- really maybe because it is just too soon and they have yet not reached any decision with regards their own personal political future

and as such more likely than not, the "maintain the status quo and play safe.." kind of attitude may prevail and the 'no-confidence' motion.

For some a "no confidence vote" may be seen too being too drastic -- like shooting with a gun aimed at the heart - when all that may be ready to do at the moment is a "rap on the knuckles" or a "slap on the face" or a "quite whisper asking to resign".

For some, they will say that it is not in our culture - better to allow Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to himself tender his resignation rather than to force him out vide a "no confidence vote"

There are just too many things happening at the moment - not just the possible change in Government from BN to Pakatan Rakyat --- BUT there is also that expressed desire and action within UMNO to remove Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as President (and some also want Najib out as well). There are also others who definitely do not want Najib to become the PM or the President of UMNO - and they may be willing to keep Abdullah on until they are sure that the successor will be someone other than Najib.

MCA and some of the other component parties are also having problems in their own house.

All these wrong reasons may at the end of the day see any 'no-confidence-vote' defeated - and will send the wrong message to the RAKYAT, and which may be capitalized by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to justify his continued Premiership.

So, at the end of the day it may be good if there is maybe NO 'no-confidence-vote' at this moment in time in the Dewan Rakyat. As a alternative, it maybe better for more MPs and wakil Rakyats to come out and declare that they have 'no-confidence' in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the government, and when about 20 or so have done so, the message is clear and we hopefully will see :-
(a) Badawi's resignation, OR
(b)Resignation and Dissolution of the Cabinet, OR
(c) Dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat paving the way for another General Elections OR ...(d) maybe some Proclamation of Emergency (Parliament Dissolved, People arrested and detained under ISA, etc...). We certainly hope that Option (d) will never be resorted to ever.

What about the Pakatan Rakyat - are they ready for a "no-confidence vote"? Are they ready to take over NOW -- so much earlier than their proclaimed date of September 16?

Oh yes - there is that SPEAKER person as well to consider who may just disallow such a motion - and we have seen him prevent debate and vote on many an important motions..

Oh maybe, SAPP may backtrack....

No confidence vote" NOW may be dangerous...

We shall see....we shall see...

Below from the SAPP website:-

"Why SAPP is making this stand now?

KOTA KINABALU, June 18, 2008: We must make a stand before the window of opportunity closes. This window of opportunity closes by August after which Sabah would be forgotten again. The nation's attention would switch to MCA and UMNO elections, people will be pre-occupied with the fasting month, Hari Raya, school exams and year end events. Political fatigue in the national mainstream over "Sabah-Sabah-Sabah¨ issues would set in.

The momentum for us to recover our autonomy, get 20% oil royalties and return of Labuan would be lost. Unfair federal laws, excessive taxes and structural imbalances in the economy will remain entrenched. Sabah will remain the poorest state subservient to the central leadership. Labuan bridge, poverty eradication and rural development will remain elusive. Racial politics and wasteful monopolies will continue as usual. The illegal immigrant problems will reach boiling point. Grown up street kids, illicit drugs and crimes will continue to strike fear among the people. Police and law enforcement will remain understaffed and under-resourced. In other words, Sabah will lose out badly again. We will not get this window of opportunity for another 50 years, if ever again. In fact, we have now become suspicious of their delaying tactics.

This is why we need an immediate declaration of no confidence in the PM and the government to tell the Barisan Nasional Federal Government that we can no longer tolerate their insensitive attitude towards the Sabah issues that are real and serious.

The people are also suffering from high inflation resulting from the recent astronomical and unexpected fuel price hikes which was contrary to a BN election promise. Fuel prices have brought about stagnation in the business sector. Unemployment and social problems will rise. But the government's responses seem ad-hoc, flip-flop and lacking in foresight with a fire fighting style.

This is why we have to START INSULATING ourselves from the external shocks such as oil prices and food crisis. The food and energy crises will last a few years. The effects will be around for many more years. This is worse than the financial crisis of 1997-98 from which Malaysia took five years to sufficiently recover.

In Parliament on May 13, a BN Federal Minster killed off any hopes of a review of the petroleum royalty for the oil producing states of Sabah, Sarawak and Trengganu by declaring that the oil royalty shall remain at 5%. With our political move today, SAPP hereby initiates the political process to claim 20% in oil royalties which is after all the natural resource of Sabah. With that extra billions, we can invest in agriculture, education, capacity-building and achieve self-sufficiency in many things. We can therefore insulate ourselves from the external shocks or economic tsunami.

Is SAPP pulling out of the BN?

We will have a press conference o Friday June 20 to announce this matter of SAPP membership in BN after our Supreme Council meeting. This is the most popular question of the week. Actually, the BN has already left Sabah. The spirit of BN is no longer there. It is not that Sabah does not want BN; it is BN that does not want Sabah. The BN does not recognize the contribution of Sabah to the national mainstream. Ask any Sabah UMNO leader privately, they will pour out their frustrations. Remember the speeches of MPs Datuk Anifah Aman on "terrace houses¨, Datuk Ghapur Salleh, Datuk Wilfred bumburing and Datuk Eric and Datuk Dr. Chua Soon Bui? Many BN component leaders also share our feelings...."

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