Bersih 2.0 says PM must test confidence in emergency Parliament sitting now

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must call for an emergency Parliament sitting now to ensure that he enjoys the support of the majority of MPs, and not wait until September, says electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0.

A statement by its steering committee on Wednesday (Aug 4) said that a delay in testing Muhyiddin’s support through a vote of confidence in Parliament would only prolong the ongoing political instability, with parties horse trading for support through appointments and positions.

“Or even the use of enforcement bodies like the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Inland Revenue Board (IRB), police and the Attorney General Chambers to investigate and bring charges to those who do not align themselves with the government.

“Such tactics have been witnessed since the ‘Sheraton move’ that installed the Perikatan Nasional government,” said Bersih 2.0 in a statement.

Bersih 2.0 also said questions were raised on Muhyiddin’s majority at present, citing the recent defection of eight Umno MPs mentioned by Muhyiddin in his special address earlier Wednesday (Aug 4).

“Unless he already plans to cause the defection of more MPs from the Opposition. Such political scheming must not be allowed to take place.”

Bersih 2.0 said the September Parliament sitting was meant for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to deliver his address, and it should not be distracted by a vote of confidence that might trigger the fall of the government.

“If the Muhyiddin government hopes to have the support of the Opposition without resorting to enticing their MPs, he must with all sincerity reach out with Opposition leaders to negotiate and Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA), where the Opposition agree to support the prime minister in exchange for meaningful roles in the task force to combat Covid-19 and revive the economy.”

Bersih 2.0 said the proposed CSA must also include legislated reforms that would level the playing field for all parties, similar to a select committee that will consist of MPs.

These were select committees that will address issues on Constituency Development Fund, recall election to deal with party hopping, political financing reform and the separation of the attorney-general role and that of public prosecutors.

“The people expect political stability during this time of crisis so that their immediate health and economic concerns can be addressed,” it added.

On Wednesday afternoon, Muhyiddin, in a special address to the nation, said a confidence vote will be tabled in Parliament to test his majority as prime minister.

The special address came following a bombshell announcement by Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that 11 Umno MPs retracted support for the Perikatan government.

However, Muhyiddin said eight Umno MPs had retracted their support towards him as prime minister.

The first meeting of the fourth session of the 14th Parliament will sit for 15 days, beginning Sept 6 until 30.

The King will deliver a Royal Address to Parliament on September 6.

In a recent statement by Istana Negara, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abudllah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah said the government’s decision to revoke six Emergency Ordinances was made without his consent.

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