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"A penny for your thoughts"

Monday, July 14, 2008

MALAYSIA: Unprecedented No-Confidence Motion-rejected, Opposition MPs walk out

Updates:Tuesday July 15, 2008 MYT 1:41:45 PM
DAP has called for a retraction from Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar who said Monday that the meeting was attended by various leaders, including Kit Siang, Guan Eng, Dr Tan and PAS treasurer Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli.DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang added that there should be a public inquiry into the massive road blocks on Monday. He also called for Syed Hamid to resign if he failed to provide an explanation for the massive jams on Monday. N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR-Padang Serai) told Syed Hamid that the massive traffic gridlock had occurred because of “your false information,”
Earlier Syed Hamid told Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom) that the ministry encouraged a liberal and responsible mass media which adhered to the Federal Constitution, democratic principles and Malaysia’s multi-racial society.VIA

DAP claims there was no such meeting among the Pakatan top leadership.

Updates 15thJuly2008
Opposition no-confidence motion was rejectsd mainly on the interpretation of the wording of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail request for a ketatapan (resolution) rather than a rundingan (debate). A resolution meant a vote would have to be taken, he explained. The provisions under Standing Orders 18(1) and 18(2) do not require a vote. And Dr Wan Azizah had expressly asked that no vote be taken. She merely wanted to discuss the performance of the Barisan Nasional Government. In that case, Pandikar Amin said, she should have asked for a rundingan. The odds however seem stacked against the Opposition. Unlike in Britain and New Zealand, Malaysia does not have a convention of no-confidence motions. According to Abdul Malek Hussin, secretary to the Opposition Leader, one would have to bring such a proposal to the Speaker of the House. There is no guarantee that he would approve it. Even if it were to be brought before the Dewan Rakyat, there is little chance of it being passed because the numbers would work against the Opposition. The Barisan Nasional Whip would ensure party discipline.

Monday July 14, 2008 MYT 12:34:06 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected an emergency motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Cabinet, which prompted a walkout by Opposition MPs.

The motion filed by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail last Thursday was rejected by the Speaker due to the "wrong choice of words."

Malaysia's opposition on Monday accused the government of turning parliament into a "war zone", as armed police sealed off the building amid fears of a protest.

"Parliament should be open to the public to participate so they can listen to the debates and see how participatory democracy works. What we want to see is democracy in action, not police in action," Lim Guan Eng from the Democratic Action Party said.

See Police seal off Malaysia's parliament amid protest fears

To wrest federal power from the Barisan, Pakatan needs another 30 lawmakers. Now, it has 82 against the Barisan's 140. With SAPP's two joining its fray, the number required is down to 28. In Sabah, the Barisan holds 24 out of the 25 federal seats.

Moreover in recent weeks, Pakatan has suggested that even those in the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) — the largest ethnic party, which leads the Barisan -- and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the second largest ethnic party in the coalition, might be induced to cross party lines. Both parties have vehemently denied the possibility.

In the meantime, Anwar Ibrahim, who has publicly said he would take over as premier in September, is putting additional pressure on Badawi. The country's highest court agreed on Monday June 23rd, to hear a legal challenge over Anwar's abrupt sacking in 1998 as deputy prime minister and finance minister and ultimate jailing at the behest of Mahathir, Anwar’s onetime mentor and now bitter enemy. Attorney-General And Inspector-General Of Police Give Statements To ACA Over Anwar's Allegations.

Given the political nature of Malaysia’s courts, it is difficult to believe the agreement to hear the near decade-old case does not have political overtones. At the same time Badawi is seeking to defend himself against Anwar’s challenge, he is fighting a rear-guard action against Mahathir, who is leading the charge to depose him as prime minister VIA

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi moved on Thursday , July 10, 2008 to calm a political storm by agreeing to hand over power to Najib Razak, giving some relief to investors jittery about Malaysia. But Najib's road to the top may not be easy. A rift within his own United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party, the lingering threat of the opposition seizing power and his own scandals could derail the plan and add to uncertainties. Ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad went one step further by saying that Najib would never become prime minister.

"Before the handover date arrives, allegations will be hurled against him so that he will be seen to be unfit to be the deputy prime minister," Mahathir wrote in his blog. "Someone seen to be more loyal to Abdullah will replace him," he said. (Reuters India) Moreover nobody knows how the Altantuya issue is going to develop. Does Anwar have more proof on this and other matters, as he claims?

The average Malaysian basically is fed-up with Umno's old-style, feudal, raced-based politics and Najib merely represents a continuation of that dirty brand of governing. Not that Muhyiddin or most of the other senior umnoputeras are any better.
Source:Najib Faces Rocky Road To Power
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