IN part 1 of my article, I mentioned that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition appears to be ‘protecting’ Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob from government lawmakers in Parliament.
I also mentioned that the Government-PH Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a moral hazard that ignores the ‘moral high ground’ and that even former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had implied that the MoU reeks of ‘corruption’.
Other Opposition leaders, besides Mahathir, have criticised the MoU as well in no uncertain terms.
Ironically, the critics include those who were responsible for overthrowing the democratically elected, and lawfully established, Sabah government on May 12, 2018.
Clearly, hypocrisy knows no limits in the Opposition.
The Federal Court ruled last year that May 12, 2018 was unconstitutional as the Perak case law 2009 was not applicable outside the sultanates in Malaya.
Already, netizens on social media had been calling for PH to reconsider the Government-PH MoU – a ‘bad smell’ that keeps following PH and threatens to envelope the Parliament.
The Ismail Sabri Government stands detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
There is consensus that reforms should among others include core areas like due diligence to prevent inflated government contracts draining the public treasury, tax evasion on donations and money laundering charges not being pursued by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).
Due diligence must also be given to court putting on blinkers on the unfairness of government procedures when hearing judicial review Applications, the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) being allegedly used for purposes it was not intended, and the issuance in Sabah of late registration birth certificates from ages back to illegal immigrants born outside the country for their existence in the electoral rolls.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin provided the proverbial smoking gun when he publicly declared that National Registration Dept (NRD) officers would be stationed at polling stations in Sabah on last year to prevent illegal immigrants voting in the snap territorial elections.
He raised eyebrows when he implied that not all in the electoral rolls were in the NRD data bank.
The power grabbers of May 12, 2018 denied illegal votes and bit the dust in the snap territorial elections.
Two other reform issues arose:
- Malay MyKads being allegedly issued to those who do not qualify under the Definition of Malay in Article 160(2) in the Federal Constitution; and
- Public perception that the NRD has since done away with the Malay classification, a form of identity, on the chip in MyKads, thereby rendering the Malay Definition redundant in Article 160(2).
There have always been issues with the Malay Definition in the otherwise colour-blind Constitution.
Another sore point in the social media is that the Cabinet does not include any MP from PH which won the 14th general election (GE14) and ended the uninterrupted 60-year rule of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
The thinking behind the MoU may be on installing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister. That may explain why the Conditional and Supply Agreement (CSA) was stillborn.
Anwar, however, will be treated as a Senior Minister under the MoU with all the perks.
He rejected the offer publicly when it was first announced by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as part of the Seven-Point Plan to stave off imminent collapse of the Government.
If Ismail Sabri has since virtually emerged as the Prime Minister of a de facto PH Plus government, it should be sanctified by Parliament via a confidence motion.
The confidence motion can’t be a ‘one horse’ show lest it degenerate into a no-confidence motion.
At least three MPs, proposed and seconded, should be in the fray.
The winner gets at least 51% of the nominations and if no one gets 51%, there should be a run-off between the top two contenders.
Anwar may get the chance to be prime minister if the confidence motion considers him as well in the running. – Sept 28, 2021
By : Joe Fernandez (A longtime Borneo watcher and a regular FocusM contributor) – FOCUS MALAYSIA
*The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Stringer.