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Let Parliament be guardian of national life

How should MPs behave in Parliament?

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Let politicians govern the country through the system of parliamentary democracy – and let democracy flourish unhindered, Phlip Rodrigues writes. 

A disturbing trend is developing across the political landscape ever since Pakatan Harapan lost its hold on federal power

In this new political normal, new players have emerged who are rearranging the political life of the country, regardless of the results of the 2018 general election.

The general election of that year showed the people had rejected Barisan Nasional and voted in PH, ushering in an era of reform and reinvigoration. But the euphoria was short-lived: it ended when some feckless members bolted from PH. 

Then the palace stepped in and decided the baton should be handed over to Perikatan Nasional after some intense scrutiny.

The discarded BN coalition made an infamous re-entry into Putrajaya by teaming up with PN. This development came as a shock to the people who thought the tainted BN would never rise from the ashes of defeat.

Want to topple a PH-ruled government? Lure the PH MPs or state assembly members to cross over to the other side and create a situation where it is not certain who has the majority to form the government.

Build up the tension until it reaches boiling point, whereupon outside help is needed to settle the squabbling.

This state of affairs might not be healthy for the growth of a strong and vibrant parliamentary democracy. Politicians must never forget that once we elect them to Parliament or the state legislative assembly, they embody the wishes, hopes and dreams of their constituencies. They are answerable to the people.

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If the elected representatives cannot agree among themselves, they should all resign from their seats and not switch camps. They should return to the people to seek a new mandate in a snap state or federal election.

The country would be better off with only Parliament to look up to as the guardian of national life. Parliament must remain paramount at all times.

Only Parliament can make or unmake a government through a vote of confidence or no confidence.

Let the politicians govern the country through the system of parliamentary democracy – and let democracy flourish unhindered.

Phlip Rodrigues, a former journalist, is a keen observer of local events

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