Azalina: Snap polls only way to return to ‘political normalcy’

R. Loheswar
·2-min read
Dewan Rayat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman highlighted several issues set to arise this week that will affect the country’s leadership and the government’s legitimacy, mainly surrounding the approval or non-approval of Budget 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Dewan Rayat deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman highlighted several issues set to arise this week that will affect the country’s leadership and the government’s legitimacy, mainly surrounding the approval or non-approval of Budget 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman today said that the political uncertainty in the country can only be solved by calling for an early general election.

“With so much political uncertainty at the moment and confidence (and no-confidence) motions unlikely to be voted on, perhaps the only way we can return to political normalcy is to consider returning the mandate to the people by calling for the dissolution of Parliament in order to pave way for a general election.

“In this regard, I echo the Umno president’s clarion call for all political parties to set aside their differences for the sake of the people and to stand united in the mandate being returned to the people because the people’s mandate is a sacred mandate,” said the Dewan Rayat deputy speaker on her personal blog.

Azalina highlighted several issues set to arise this week that will affect the country’s leadership and the government’s legitimacy, mainly surrounding the approval or non-approval of Budget 2021.

She said there are concerns about whether Supply Bill (Budget) 2021 will be passed and whether the prime minister will resign or try to make another attempt at an emergency declaration if the Bill does not pass.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s has small majority support in Parliament. As such if a vote of no confidence against the Budget happens, he may have to vacate his seat as he lacked the support to rule the government.

Azalina said since Malaysia is under the Commonwealth system, we are bound by the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA). Under the FTPA, confidence votes must be specifically worded to trigger a general election.

“A government defeat on a budget measure would not necessarily bring down a government, though it is likely it would face a vote of no-confidence shortly afterward, as its ability to command the will of the House would be in question.

“Malaysia ought to draw lessons from the FTPA and place her own safeguards against political instability and turmoil. This will encourage good governance and promote a responsible government,” she said.

Azalina also proposed three “urgent” measures to prevent future political instability, including the tabling of an anti-party-hopping bill and another bill to regulate parties in a coalition government, compelling them to enter into a shared agenda and policies agreement.

“Perhaps only when political equilibrium is restored and the safeguards proposed above are put in place, only then can politicians shift their focus on what they are expected to do when they come to power, by governing responsibly.

“Until then, Malaysia continues to see desperate times with desperate measures reigning over her,” she added.

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