Politics

Vote of no confidence better than rallies against Najib

Bersih

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – August 27, 2015: The idea of toppling the government through a vote of no confidence in Parliament instead of organising rallies such as Bersih 4.0 which may disturb the peace has gained traction.

Several prominent bloggers have promoted the idea in their postings today and it has been supported by political analysts who talked to The Mole.

The bloggers have been advocating for Malaysians who opposed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to demand for their representatives among members of the Parliament to call for a vote of no confidence against the prime minister instead of participating in Bersih 4.0 which was scheduled this weekend.

There were of the opinion that calling for a vote of no confidence would be the appropriate action instead of attending the rally, which had been declared as illegal by the authorities.

Anonymous bloggers from The Unspinners via several of their blog postings had called for Malaysians to be rational in choosing the correct way to oust Najib if they wish to do so.

“Do not be misled and fooled by Maria Chin (Bersih’s chairman) or any politicians.

“Those who want to change the PM (Prime Minister) can do so by supporting the call for casting a vote of no confidence against Najib. Not by rioting on the streets,” the bloggers wrote.

Prominent blogger Zakhir Mohamad who blogged as Big Dog, implored for the opposition parties, especially DAP and Bersih 4.0 organisers, that they “should stop hoodwinking the public using street demonstration.

“The opposition has been persistently harping that they would want to table a motion (of no confidence) in the upcoming October’s parliamentary session to moot a vote of no confidence against Najib.

“The police already gave assurance that the motion through the august house of Dewan Rakyat is neither criminal nor a concern by the law enforcement agency.

“The legislators’ of Dewan Rakyat should exercise this right and if they truly represent the rakyat through the Westminister styled constitutional monarchy’s first-past-post-system, then they as MPs could vote to decide whether Najib still enjoy the majority support of Parliament,” he wrote.

Anonymous blogger, A Voice, who blogs at ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ also shared similar sentiments on the irrelevant need to resort to an illegal rally despite having the legal means to oust Najib.

“The call for vote of no confidence is getting support…but Kit Siang (DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang) resorted to take it to the streets.

“Two days ago, Lim Kit Siang had at a press conference reiterate DAP’s stand for a no confidence vote and reminded everyone of IGP Tan Sri Khalid’s statement that such a move is not a police security concern.

“With support growing for the vote of no confidence, Kit Siang had to make the hard decision of contradicting himself to hit the streets and DAP has to play the torchbearer role in the absence of Pas,” the blogger wrote.

Associate Professor Dr Mohd Azizudin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia also shared similar views with the bloggers as he deemed that the rally was not the right way for anyone to topple the government.

On top of that he even cautioned those who want to participate in the rally to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

“The rallies and demonstrations organised by Bersih has a poor track record in managing their crowd. Their participants have the tendency to get out of control.

“Now, even before the assembly we already have another anti-Bersih group clad in red that appears to be hostile against Bersih.

“So, on the day of the rally, assuming that both group are present…the likelihood of the two groups clashing with against each other is high,” he said.

Azizudin told The Mole that the most peaceful and democratic way for Bersih and those who were not pleased with Najib or his administration was to oust him was through a vote of no confidence in Parliament.

He was however sceptical  that the opposition can garner enough votes from those of the establishments to push the motion through.

“Even if they managed to secure enough votes of no confidence against Najib, will they get the consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agung to do a snap poll?” he questioned.

Another political analysts Professor Abdul Halim Sidek of the National Council of Professors also expressed similar concerns on the use of undemocratic and unlawful means to oust the government of the day.

Halim told The Mole that not only Bersih is not registered in accordance to the Societies Act, they had even failed to get the required approval for the planned rally.

“The assembly or rally or whatever they want to call it, is illegal due to them not adhering to the requirement stipulated in the Peaceful Assembly Act, which makes it compulsory for them to obtain permission from relevant authorities before doing the assembly.

“When it is unlawful, it constitutes a criminal offense…what I don’t understand is that some of those involved in organising the rally are lawyers.

“They of all people should realise the ramifications of violating the law. So, are they saying that it is okay for the public to go against the law just because they are not pleased with a certain individual?” he said

Halim also cautioned the public that those who participate in the rally is jointly liable in crime and they can be sentenced for imprisonment if they are found guilty.

On casting a vote of no confidence against Najib, Halim agreed that even though such motion is legal it must be tabled and mentioned in the parliament “accordingly.”

“When I say accordingly, it means that the motion has to undergo the proper procedures. It cannot be done overnight.

“All members of parliament must be informed and all of them must be present during the voting session. You cannot do it unilaterally,” he said.

When asked whether, on the assumption that enough votes of no confidence were cast against Najib, Barisan Nasional (BN) can simply replace Najib with another individual to be the new prime minister, Halim replied that “it is not as simple as that.”

He said that the ‘we-want-BN-but-don’t-want-Najib’ sentiment was wrong.

“When Najib became the prime minister, he was perceived as having the confidence of the majority and that majority also includes the ministers in the Cabinet line-up and those in the parliament.

“So, if and only if, he ends up losing the confidence of the majority, then the Cabinet will be rendered null and void.

“Najib can even get the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve the parliament and convene a snap poll. So, right now, to bring down Najib is to also bring down BN.

“If that happened, there will be a change government because BN is automatically perceived as having lost the confidence of the majority,” said Halim.

Halim said that the situation right now is different from the one faced by former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he step down from the premiership in 2009.

“Pak Lah (Abdullah) was never ousted. He voluntarily resigned although some would say that he was internally pressured but there was no official declaration of no confidence being made against him.

“In fact, as I recalled there was even a cordial discussion between Pak Lah and Najib and soon after that he met with the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong and had obtained the consent to have Najib replacing him as the prime minister.

“Back then, the call for casting a vote of no confidence was never raised against Pak Lah, That is why the transition was gracefully done,” said Halim.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

Despite becoming The MOLE's journalist in 2014, he still has a hard time traversing the city. If he is not lost, this northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make some sense out of the Malaysian political sphere.