If the Budget 2016 is defeated in Parliament here, will the government of the day resign? Choo Sing Chye explores the issue.
Khairy should have known better that it is not “irresponsible” to vote down the Supply Bill (Budget).
He said: “… other than forcing the stoppage of government service to the people, the action too, if successful, was a risk to civil servants in the aspect of salary payment.
“This is because the government expenditure is based on the Parliament Act which required the approval of Parliament before the allocation revealed in the budget could be spent” (MalayMailOnline, 22 October 2015).
If Khairy wants to alarm the GPA 3.8 to GPA 4 ministers, I believe he did it very well.
Now even The Star’s columnist, Joceline Tan joins in the fray, saying that “sabotaging a Budget is rarely a good idea because it will lead to a government lockdown, deprive government servants of their salaries and jeopardise amenities and services for the rakyat. And all because politicians are out to play politics and score political points”.
Voting, whether against or for the Budget or any other Bills for that matter, is a required fundamental duty of all MPs.
Khairy has every right to call on the MPs to vote for the Budget, but he cannot call MPs “irresponsible” if they do not. It is utterly silly of him to do so.
It is necessary for all MPs including Khairy to understand that it is the constituents that they are representing.
They must carry with them the burden of representing the aspirations of their constituents even at the risk of being censured by their own party colleagues when they fail to toe the party line.
So far, I haven’t seen this in most of our MPs.
Voting for or against the Budget must therefore solely rest upon the quality of the debate and merits of the Budget.
Hence it must be made very clear that voting against an ineffective budget is not “irresponsible” or “sabotage”.
For Khairy’s and Joseline Tan’s information, the Westminster model does not have stoppages or “shut-downs” as seen in the United States.
In the Westminster model, the government immediately resigns to pave the way for new elections.
Thus, watching too much CNN can distort the perception on the workings of the Westminster model of government.
If the 2016 Budget is defeated here, will the government of the day resign?
In Malaysia, there is no precedence to test because the Budget had never been defeated before.
Even if it does come to this point, nobody can predict the outcome as we have a very unpredictable Speaker in the House.
But the United Kingdom, on which our system is based, conveys a narrative that when the Budget is defeated, the government of the day resigns. It is downright shameful for the government of the day to stay on.
In an hypothetical scenario, if the government of the day in UK is too thick skinned and refuses to resign, then what?
If this happens, there would be no government expenditure for the following year.
Even if this problem materialises, there will be no stoppages or shut down in the civil service because when the time comes, the Queen will use her prerogative powers to frame an Order in Council.
This Order will be made in the Queen’s name and subsequently be presented through the Privy Council, bypassing Parliament to unlock the expenditure to avert an impending breakdown of the government.
This Order is legal and doubles as acts of Parliament but without its consent.
As it stands, the BN’s budget will never be defeated, because it stills hold the majority in Parliament.