Tag Archives: constitution

Sabahans, vote for your constitutional rights

I seriously hope that Sabahans can see through the stilted statements that the Prihatin Nasional (PN) government and its coalition partners have been making of late. PAS claims it was the kingmaker in installing the PN government. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin says Sabahans need strong state-federal ties. Don’t believe them!

PAS president Hadi Awang claimed that his party was the kingmaker in installing the  PN government and that it was done according to Islamic principles. Speaking at the PAS Youth general assembly in Kota Bharu last weekend, he said that PN was not a backdoor government although “we may have differing views”. That precisely is the issue

PAS helped to install an unelected prime minister and government, and a minority government at that, and he claims all these were done according to the constitution. But were they? In addition, PAS supports a government which dismissed the rightfully elected Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and appointed a new one without an election. PAS supports a government which accommodates parties with crooks, bigots and desperate jobless politicians all in the name of Islamic principles.

For PAS, the above are consistent with the constitution. If they are, what guarantee do Malaysians have that their constitutional rights will not be misconstrued and tilted in favour of PAS’s notions as has happened?

That is the risk Malaysians should not take and why Sabahans must not vote for any candidate associated with PN or its allies or friends at the national or state level. The PN government can not be trusted to honour and uphold the constitution. If PAS can offer a justification for PN to stay in power even if it contravenes the standard understanding of the constitution as according to constitutional experts, PN will go along with it. PAS, meanwhile, continues to influence the government.

But, what will become of our constitutional rights? They will be sacrificed. That is the reason why Sabahans must not vote for PN parties, partners, allies and friends.

Muhyiddin has said a strong state-federal relationship is needed for Sabah. That may be true if PN remains in government. The Sabah and Sarawak elections can determine if PN will remain in power and that is why this Sabah elections are so important.

If Sabah votes overwhelmingly for Warisan Plus comprising Warisan Sabah (Warisan), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), DAP, United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) and Amanah, they will be sending the strongest message they can to PN that they will vote similarly in a parliamentary election.

Most of Sabah MPs are with Warisan Plus except for a few Umno and Bersatu MPs and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Maximus Onglikli. If only two MPs switch camps, it is enough to bring about the fall of PN’s one-MP majority! That is what PN is afraid of and why it is making all sorts of encouraging statements about Sabah.

Don’t be fooled by the PN. In this state elections, DON’T vote for any party associated with PN. Their strategy is to go it independently and see who they can join forces with to form a coalition with a majority later. To preempt it, Sabahans should vote overwhelmingly for Warisan, PKR, DAP, Upko and Amanah.

Although PBS is a Sabahan party distancing itself from PN parties, don’t vote for it, unless PBS openly declares it is leaving the PN at the federal and state levels and becomes an independent or joins Warisan Plus.

The PN parties are Sabah Bersatu, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP). Parti Cinta Sabah is a party to watch. It is not allied with PN but its party president Anifah Aman is the brother of former chief minister and Umno politician Musa Aman and members of their large family are contesting various seats. They could easily forge a majority alliance should they win a number of seats.

A vote for Warisan Plus parties is a vote for the restoration of constitutional democracy in Malaysia which is the system of government we practise.

If Sabahans vote for the parties which best practise adherence to the constitution, they will be voting to protect their constitutional rights. It’s an indication they will do the same in the parliamentary elections, and, surely their fervour will spread to Sarawak, and GPS would have to make a choice whether to leave the PN or not. In other words, Sabah and Sarawak voters will determine if PN will stay in government or fall.

NEXT WEEK: Vote on behalf of all Malaysians

 

 

PM of just a 100?

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has done it again — abandoned the requirements of the constitution and interpreted the Dewan Rakyat session in a logic only he understands!

According to media reports, he sent a note to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker saying that he is the “ketua majlis” (head of the council) and in that capacity said only the Agong’s address will be heard on the first session of Parliament under his leadership on May 18 because of Covid-19. In other words, there will be no debates and other matters that are followed according to the Standing Orders when a Dewan Rakyat session is convened.

“Head of council”? Where in the Federal Constitution does it say that a PM is a “ketua majlis”? The Dewan Rakyat is not a council and has no head except for the Speaker. But the PM is now ‘ketua majlis”?! Covid-19 is well under control in Malaysia and is an excuse rather than a legitimate reason.

Who’s advising the PM on constitutional matters? The Prihatin Nasional (PN) government by every day is sounding more and more like Umno under Najib Razak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Is the PM aware that he will be embarrassing the Agong by inviting him to an improper session of his so-called council, which constitutionally isn’t a Dewan Rakyat session, and, therefore, can be challenged in court? He is willing to do this?

I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he is resorting to non-constitutional means to hang on to power, Umno style. It’s apparent that the only reason why he is doing this is to protect his 70-member Cabinet and a few others who put him in power, all of whom don’t add up to even a 100. He is willing to sacrifice or compromise the democratic rights of more than 32 million people to protect about 100 people.

Muhyiddin is prime minister to these 100 but he is not prime minister to the rest. We didn’t elect him and he knows he doesn’t have a leg to stand on if he were to follow the constitution. Hence all these politicking and unconstitutional ways of doing things.

Look at the Malacca state assembly. Did they follow the standing orders when the PN assemblymen convened a state assembly without the opposition to elect their own Speaker? Now, in Kedah, the PN assemblymen want to remove Mukhriz Mahathir as Menteri Besar (state chief minister). Well, just call for a vote of no confidence in the state assembly. That’s the constitutional way of conducting state assembly business. There’s no need for statutory declarations and rushing to see the Sultan. Follow the constitution and call for a vote of no confidence. If PN wins it, Mukhriz will be ousted.

So, why don’t they do it? They are afraid they will lose? If you don’t have the confidence of the majority in the assembly, why seek to topple the current government? PN politicians are so greedy for power?

The PN government is an illegitimate government. Therefore, whatever it does will be illegitimate and can be challenged in court until it wins a vote of no confidence. That’s common sense. Anyone can see that. So, if they want to continue with their illegitimate business, it is their choice.

I’m glad that the Opposition MPs are not taking the open, brazen and shameless flouting of the constitution lying down. Mukhriz is insisting that Kedah state assemblymen follow the standing orders. MPs are speaking up about the absurdity of a one-day Dewan Rakyat sitting where there will be no debate. A lawyer has said that the validity of the one-day May 18 Dewan Rakyat sitting without debates can be challenged in court. Two other lawyers have filed a legal action to declare that the May 18 session is unconstitutional.

More people need to speak up against the unconstitutional conduct of the PN government which is tantamount to lawlessness. We should not condone any public official acting without regard to the rule of law.