In a move to convince Perikatan Nasional, Anwar Ibrahim, the Prime Minister, announced that when Parliament convenes on 19 December, the first item would be to seek a vote of confidence to prove he enjoys support and legitimacy.
It is the correct move. It is applauded by all Malaysians who respect the style and substance of parliamentary democracy.
At the moment, the majority that Anwar supposedly enjoys, as stated by him, is just a claim – it has not been established as a fact. There are doubters, especially PN and its supporters, who think Anwar’s majority is an empty boast. The PN chairperson claimed to have the support of 115 MPs. If true, that leaves 107 MPs for Anwar! Not even a simple majority.
Anwar’s claim of reaching a two-thirds majority may sound hollow to PN, especially because the parties from Sabah and Sarawak, after dithering at first and leaning towards PN, later under pressure, decided to join the unity government when it was formed without them.
This is why the MPs from these states need to openly show their support in a formal vote of confidence. That would be binding and put a stop to the quibbling about numbers.
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After this support is established, Anwar’s position will not only be legitimised, it will be strengthened beyond question, and he will be free to do whatever is necessary to rescue this nation from the throes of the economic doldrums, from the ravages of poverty, from the dangers of disunity and from the threatened break-up of the nation.
It is not unknown for some past leaders to habitually claim they have been misquoted by the media when their statements subsequently draw adverse comments. So, let us just straighten the record to pre-empt opposition politicians from later claiming they have been misquoted when it is convenient to their cause.
We are confident that Anwar will serve the nation with verve, dedication and devotion for the good of the country – something that was woefully lacking in some of the past leaders.