Sunday, September 26, 2021

Settle the score in Parliament, not outside

What matters the most are the votes tabulated in the Dewan Rakyat, not what is claimed outside.

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I am a small-time businessman trying to make ends meet amid a crippling Covid-19 pandemic. It is bad enough that physical distancing restrictions have hit our economy. Making things worse are the uncertainties arising from the wheelings and dealings among our politicians.

I am not aligned with political parties. But the uncertainties do not help the business community. Ever since Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that his bloc of supporters had withdrawn their support for PM Muhyiddin Yassin, the political mercury has only shot up.

One moment, Zahid’s camp will say that they have enough support to topple Muhyiddin. The next moment, Muhyiddin’s camp will refute the news. Today, the Dewan Rakyat speaker had to come out and deny that he had informed the PM that he (Muhyiddin) had lost the confidence of the House. This I-say-you-say is deeply unsettling and has only spooked investors and the business community.

As we know, anyone can make claims of support. We have seen in the past that some MPs have no compunctions about signing multiple statutory declarations (SDs) supporting opposing camps. These two-faced political animals want to play it safe by not putting all of their eggs in one basket.

If someone were to tabulate the SDs each faction now claims to have, I am sure the number would exceed 220, which is the total number of Dewan Rakyat MPs now. The SDs are not worth the paper they are printed on.

I don’t see any point in making claims of support when the prime minister, with the consent of the king, will table a motion of confidence when the Dewan Rakyat meets in September. What matters the most are the votes tabulated in the hallowed halls, not what is claimed outside.

I would not be surprised if those who had pledged allegiance to a particular bloc outside the Dewan switch camps when it comes to voting. Recall during the Budget 2021 vote last year, where the opposition wanted to oust Muhyiddin by voting down the bill. In the end, they couldn’t even summon enough numbers to call for bloc voting at the policy stage.

So I would suggest that everyone observe a “political ceasefire” until voting takes place in the Dewan Rakyat. Firstly, all these claims of support are pointless. They are just “noise” that only makes investors, the business community and the public jittery.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and the Dewan Rakyat is the best avenue to settle the score. We are already almost halfway through August and we just need to wait a while more for the vote to take place when the Dewan Rakyat reconvenes on Sept 6.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.

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