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Parliament couldn’t be more finely balanced than this!

How should MPs behave in Parliament?

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Never before have both government and opposition ranks been so evenly matched, putting Malaysia in uncharted territory. Anil Netto looks at the latest state of play.

Someone asked me this morning whether I knew the current state of our 222-seat Parliament.

So I looked it up (Wikipedia, 30 May 2020), rearranged the figures and then adjusted it for the Sri Gading resignation as deputy minister yesterday (assuming he is joining the Bersatu independents on the Pakatan Harapan side, which isn’t 100% clear and which is a big if) and came up with this table:

PERIKATAN NASIONAL GOVERNMENT  
   
Muafakat  
Umno39 
Pas18 
Muafakat total 57
   
Bersatu 31
MCA 2
MIC 1
   
Sarawak – GPS  
PBB13 
PRS2 
PDP2 
SUPP1 
GPS total
 18
   
Sabah parties  
PBS 1
Star 1
PBRS 1
   
PN government 112
   
OPPOSITION  
   
Pakatan Harapan  
DAP42 
PKR39 
Amanah11 
PH total 92
   
Independents (inc Bersatu) 6
Sarawak – PSB 2
   
Sabah parties:  
Warisan 9
Upko 1
   
Total opposition 110
   

I stand corrected. It doesn’t get any closer than this! And it could change in the coming days. Just don’t forget the people’s interests (as opposed to elite, corporate or vested interests) in all this. For starters, reject corruption and nepotism, reject political appointments to government-linked companies, remove compromised leaders, and reject mega-projects that are against the people’s interests, especially the ecologically harmful and financially burdensome ones. Tell us clearly what you stand for.

READ MORE:  Parliamentarians playing hooky?

In a way, this finely balanced Parliament may be good for the people’s interests – for now. Neither side can ram through projects or bills that do not serve the people’s interests for fear of a revolt within their ranks.

The downside is that the ruling coalition might be tempted to use the arsenal of repressive laws still in the statute books (which PH failed to repeal) to maintain its grip on power. But then again, that might turn public opinion against it ahead of the next general election.

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