Parliament’s first full sitting under the Perikatan Nasional government was not short of drama, but civil society figures and analysts described the high-profile proceedings as “all part of the democratic process”.
Moderation advocate Mohamed Tawfik Ismail said the proceedings yesterday proved just how important every MP’s vote was.
“The proceedings answered the question of Perikatan’s majority in Parliament but it will be a razor-thin victory or loss – whatever the legislation.
“One positive development will be the diligent attendance of MPs from now in a Parliament where every vote counts, ” said the former Sungai Benut MP.
Political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said heated debates and arguments were part and parcel of the democratic process.
“We have seen many times how MPs debate and articulate (their arguments), although sometimes they cannot toe the line between party and public interest.
“With a razor-thin majority, it will become more explosive. In the end, what matters most is protecting the House to safeguard the nation’s interest, ” he said.
Universiti Malaya’s Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said a new Speaker was usually appointed during a vacancy.
“With the forming of a new government, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would want a Speaker who could be trusted not to bring down Perikatan Nasional nor sabotage his administration.
“It is expected that Muhyiddin will continue to strengthen Perikatan and pressure the Opposition.”
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s politics and governance research group head Dr Mazlan Ali said while the sitting followed proper procedures, there might be some questions over the motion to remove Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as Speaker.
“The Deputy Speaker (Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon) who was chairing the proceedings is quite well-versed, but there may be some ‘controversy’ over the reasons why the government would want to change the Speaker.
“It could appear that the Speaker must follow the government, but from a democratic perspective, the Speaker must be someone who is impartial, ” he said adding that politics would continue to be a hot issue with things being quite fragile.