Speakers' Corner

Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site

No Confidence!

With a minority government clinging to office and refusing to go; as is presently the case in Malaysia, Parliamentarians will turn to the “bible” of parliamentary practice, Erskine May for guidance.

Its advice on the matter of No Confidence motions is UNEQUIVOCAL – if the leader of the opposition calls for one the Government MUST CONCEDE:

“By established convention, the Government always accedes to the demand from the Leader of the Opposition to allot a day for the discussion of a motion tabled by the official Opposition which, in the Government’s view, would have the effect of testing the confidence of the House. In allotting a day for this purpose, the Government is entitled to have regard to the exigencies of its own business, but a reasonably early day is invariably found. This convention is founded on the recognised position of the Opposition as a potential government, which guarantees the legitimacy of such an interruption of the normal course of business.” [Erskine May par 18:44]

It can fairly be assumed that the PN appointed Speaker is familiar with the democracy textbook. He, and by implication Mahiaddin and his ministers, cannot be unaware that the ethos of removing a minority government from office is by tabling a motion of “no confidence”. It is clear beyond dispute that if such a motion is carried the government in place must resign.

That does not, in Malaysia, mean that a government which has lost the confidence of the Assembly must call a general election. The fact that it is in minority is irrefutable proof that the Opposition enjoys an achual majority and in that case, under the Constitution the Agong must call on the leader of the opposition to form a government and prove its support in the Assembly.

In the current situation in Malaysia it is evident to all, including the Speaker, that PN has no majority. Which must be assumed to be the reason that he is at pains to prevent the tabling of a motion of “no confidence”.

He is presumably overlooking the fact that as an unelected non-member and mere  salaried employee of the Assembly he can be dismissed by it. Even this Speaker might find it awkward to block a motion calling for his own dismissal. If passed he is discredited and must go. By blocking legitimate calls for a motion of no confidence he is openly partisan to BN and, as such, unfit to hold his office.

The way then is clear.. Remove a partisan, non-member, Speaker and request the Deputy Speaker to place on the Order Paper a motion of no confidence in the Muyhiddin government. Example is a powerful motivator and, if needed, the majority can appoint a suitable Speaker

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