So, why are Umno leaders making noise again? This time over the defeat of the government bill to amend a clause in the Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012 Act (Sosma) once it expires on July 31, 2022.
The clause in question is Section 4(5) of Sosma, which allows for detention without a court order for up to 28 days. According to Section 4(11) of Sosma, the enforceability of Section 4(5) must be renewed by both Houses of Parliament every five years. Now, that the government bill has been defeated in the Dewan Rakyat, that provision has been removed from Sosma.
So, what’s bothering Umno MPs that this government motion was defeated? Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi expressed shock that the government bill was defeated and blamed it on the opposition saying “they have broken their promises, violated the agreement (MOU signed between the government and the opposition) and completely ignored their previous commitments.”
It has since been pointed out that a number of government and opposition (more government than opposition) MPs didn’t vote resulting in the defeat of the motion. And that the MOU clearly states that the opposition’s obligation to not vote or abstain only refers to a bill tabled by the government which, if failed to pass, will bring down the government. In this case, it wasn’t such a bill.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa — an Umno MP — earlier had also said that the defeat of the bill meant that the opposition’s action had effectively nullified the MOU.
Both Zahid and Annuar stand corrected and their criticisms have stopped but it reveals their sad lack of knowledge of available information and the will to act on correct information. Instead, they make a lot of noise at the risk of looking foolish and when found out behave as quiet as a mouse but will still hold on to their positions.
Joining his fellow party members, Umno’s Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz argued that it doesn’t matter if the MOU was affected or not but that it was a matter of perception and that the people would perceive it as the government — despite having a majority — lost.
Perceived as having lost, Nazri felt the Barisan Nasional (BN) has lost the “moral ground” to run the government. Oh, really? What about joining forces with other parties to form an unelected government that to this day refuses to prove its majority? That isn’t losing the “moral ground” to govern?
Strangely, when Umno’s candidate for the Mentri Besar’s post in Johor was rejected, there was little or no noise by Umno politicians. Even at the recently-concluded Umno general assembly, there was not a sound about the Johor MB issue.
It was a clear-cut case. It was within the Sultan’s powers as according to the federal constitution to reject a candidate and choose another from the list of names submitted to him. He exercised his rights under the highest power of the land, the constitution. But, why didn’t Umno exercise its rights under the constitution and, instead, deferred to the Sultan?
Do Umno MPs and assemblypersons know and understand the constitution to act within its authority? It’s within the state government’s authority to call for a confidence vote in the state assembly for the appointed MB. With more than a two-thirds majority, Umno could have rejected the candidate and sent the list back to the Sultan. Of course, it would have soured relations between the two but, as Nazri said, as a matter of perception the people would have seen Umno standing up for them.
They failed to do that and consequently lost the “moral ground” to lead the state government. Yet, they are there.
All this noise on issues that are not issues and silence over issues that are the real issues simply reflects a powerless and immoral government. The Umno-led government claims a majority but fails to defend the people’s choices. They have no moral grounds to govern at all.
Will they, then, step down? Unlikely. They need to remain in government for their own personal agendas. Meanwhile, whatever they do is simply a lot of hot air, shadow boxing. Useless activity.
Most of us the majority see through their antics. Unfortunately for us and fortunately for them, their voter base has bought into their spurious narrative.
I hope word gets around and reaches their voters that they are being led by their noses.