The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) laments that the opposition has greatly let Malaysians down by their failure to table a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Bersih 2.0 urges the opposition to now demonstrate a 100 per cent commitment to voting down the budget at every possible opportunity as a “loss of supply” is akin to a vote of no-confidence.
Bersih 2.0 says it is the moral responsibility of the opposition in any parliamentary democracy to put to test parliament’s confidence in the Prime Minister and the government when it is in doubt.
Whether or not the motion is passed, there must be a record of the proponents and opponents to the motion so that the voters can make an informed decision in the next election.
The Malaysian public has registered their lack of confidence in PM Najib Razak through their enthusiastic participation in both the Bersih 4 peaceful rally and Bersih’s post-rally Undi Tidak Percaya campaign via www.dearYB.my, where to date, 12,000 letters have been received in addition to 20,000 postcards already distributed across the nation.
It is disappointing that the main opposition bloc of Pakatan Harapan (PKR, DAP, Amanah) and Pas did not acknowledge the public’s will to even put up concerted and coordinated efforts.
Pakatan Harapan made a last-minute retraction of the no-confidence motion by PJ Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian and submitted another one by Parliamentary Opposition Leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, only for it to be rejected by the Speaker on the technical grounds of missing the 14-day notice.
Equally disappointing is the unclear position of Pas on whether or not to support such a motion if tabled.
Bersih 2.0 urges both Pakatan Harapan and Pas to instruct all of their parliamentarians to attend Parliament during the budget debate and vote against the budget at every opportunity.
Bersih 2.0 also urges all Barisan Nasional backbenchers to cross the floor and vote down the budget. At the very least, all BN parliamentarians should abstain from voting in favour of the budget.
Parliamentarians should first act in the interest of the nation and a ‘backbench revolt’ – the act of government backbenchers voting against the government – is part of the game in a parliamentary democracy. Whatever the instruction or warning from the chief whip might be, they should act based on the aspirations of the rakyat. And if they do not have the guts to revolt, being absent from voting is always an option.
If Najib’s budget is rejected by Parliament – technically, the loss of supply – he has lost the confidence of the House.
In such an event, Najib must then tender his resignation, together with his cabinet’s, in order for the Yang diPertuan Agong to appoint another prime minister or request for parliamentary dissolution.
The Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0: which consists of:
Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; Deputy Chairperson: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Treasurer: Masjaliza Hamzah; national representatives: Assoc. Prof. Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusof, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and New Sin Yew; vice-chairpersons: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b Wan Ismail (East Peninsula), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula).