KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Malaysia is in an unprecedented situation with debate over Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s promise to table a confidence vote in Parliament next month, according to Umno’s Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
The deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker noted there were many rumours circulating online about the possibilities of either a new unity government being formed or Malaysia being led by a minority government.
Weighing in, the Pengerang MP said there were no such provisions on a minority government by the Federal Constitution.
A trained lawyer, Azalina said Muhyiddin could not even seek out the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s permission to form a minority government before he either resigned or the possibility of another majority block was exhausted.
“IF there is a new majority block, it must be allowed to present a Member of Parliament who commands the majority under Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, quote ‘who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that house’. In other words, such representation must come from the floor, i.e. from the MPs to the YDPA, and not the other way around.
“Assuming that NO such representation can be made, only then the YDPA can use His Majesty’s discretion to invite the former PM to offer himself as a Minority Government with Confidence and Supply Agreements (CSA),” she wrote on Facebook today.
Azalina explained that CSAs by other parties and MPs are flexible and only provide an assurance support for an explicit motion of importance, such as the Annual Budget or specific legislation based on conscience and importance they perceived and the mess without stable support on the policies would be then be saddled by both the civil servants and the people.
She then explained the concept of a coalition government.
“With a Coalition Government, there is a greater demand for a strict interpretation of Coalition partners’ expectations, set in a written agreement that includes terms for entry, exit, and procedures for conflict resolution.
“Coalition members can’t ‘pull the plug’ as and when they wish but they can do so within the terms of the Written Agreement.
“Unfortunately, the PM8 government never entered into such a written agreement with its component political party partners. Otherwise, the political chaos that we are experiencing today could have been averted (perhaps!),” she wrote.
As such, Azalina added that the country is in such a precarious situation as the people need a stable government, and MPs need a functional Parliament.
“We are in unchartered [sic] waters and therefore, how this matter is dealt with is of utmost importance to us as a nation. Precedents will be set that will mark our history in upholding our Constitutional and Parliamentary Democracy,” she wrote.
She said for now, the important question is to find out the best way to resolve the current political quagmire based on the rule of law and in keeping with democratic practices.
“It will be an uphill battle to establish trust again and win the hearts and minds of a broken system.
“We can start by ensuring that we do not compromise on a Check and Balance system with guaranteed Separation of Powers,” she added.