ON Dec 19, 2022 which was a month after the 15th General Election (GE15), Prime Minister (PM) Anwar Ibrahim passed with flying colours a motion of confidence in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat which won him backing for his premiership.
Recall that Anwar had convened parliament back then to prove his majority after Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman and former premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin cast doubt if he has two-thirds support of the 222 lawmakers in the august house.
Fast forward 14 months later, veteran journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin reckoned that motion of no confidence will yet again serve as the best platform for Anwar to clear any doubt if he still commands the majority support of MPs in the Dewan Rakyat (the cut-off figure is to have 112 or more MPs on his side).
“If the opposition believes that the PM no longer commands the trust of majority of the MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, they can submit a motion of no confidence to oust him,” penned the national journalism laureate in a recent Facebook post.
“Supporters of the government can respond likewise by submitting a motion of confidence for him. In that manner, there is no need to use the backdoor method like SD (statutory declarations) or having to leverage the name of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA).
“After all, if you call on the King with SDs, you will only arouse suspicion of the common people. They cannot see it but if you do it in the Parliament, the whole world can be your witness.”
Kadir was commenting on the proposal by Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim that every PM candidate should be determined through a vote of confidence in the Parliament instead of SDs.
“Hassan’s views are valid because he is not only a MP but also a lawyer and a senior member of PKR which is the PM Anwar’s political party,” asserted Kadir.
According to Kadir, Anwar who has for a long time presented himself as a democrat and a renaissance man committed to transparency and accountability “can make a democratic shift by exposing himself to a vote of confidence in Parliament”.
“I mean a specific vote of confidence, not indirectly through a budget vote for example,” insisted Kadir. “From the tone of voice and behaviour of government supporters, I think he doesn’t need to worry about facing a vote of confidence. He himself has said that the government has two-thirds support.”
Added the former editor-in-chief of mainstream New Straits Times: “For the long term, perhaps we should consider amending the Federal Constitution to require PM candidates to be validated by the Dewan Rakyat before taking the oath of office. Or MPs cast their vote of confidence as soon as the PM is sworn in.” – Jan 11, 2024
Main pic credit: Free Malaysia Today