Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bersih raps Pakatan over bungle, wants budget voted down

Bersih has criticised Pakatan Harapan for its poor organisation in tabling a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and urged the opposition coalition to make amends by voting down the budget to be tabled this Friday.
"It is disappointing that the main opposition bloc of Pakatan Harapan and PAS did not acknowledge the public's will to even put up concerted and coordinated efforts (for a no-confidence vote).
"Equally disappointing is the unclear position of PAS on whether or not to support such a motion if tabled.
"Bersih urges the opposition to now demonstrate a 100 percent commitment to voting down the budget at every possible opportunity as a 'loss of supply' is akin to a vote of no-confidence," it said in a statement today.
The electoral watchdog also called on opposition party whips to ensure all their MPs are present during the budget debate to vote against the budget at 'every opportunity'.
"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 informed decisions in the next election," it said.
‘Backbench revolt’
Bersih also urged government MPs to block the 2016 Budget in Parliament.
"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 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," it said.
In Westminster parliamentary systems, the government's budget being defeated is akin to a vote of no-confidence but there is no precedent for Malaysia.
Contrary to popular belief, the budget is not passed in a single vote but voted according to ministries.
Voting down the Prime Minister's Department's or Finance Ministry's budget, which Najib leads, may be a symbolic gesture of no-confidence.
The opposition's bid to table a no-confidence motion had been an uncoordinated one, with DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng lashing out at PKR's Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian for tabling the motion on his own accord.
Lim had insisted that the motion would carry more weight if opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail tabled the motion.
Subsequently, Hee agreed to retract the motion to allow Wan Azizah to table her own.
However, Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia later claimed the motion must be tabled 14 days before the Parliament sitting begin.
This was despite PAS successfully submitting a notice to table a private member's bill on hudud after the Parliament session began in March with a 14-day notice.

Read more:

No comments: