Khairy: Challenging times ahead for Perikatan but can still govern despite razor-thin majority

Azril Annuar
·2-min read
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is confident that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration can still govern despite the small majority that it commands in the Dewan Rakyat.

However, he admits that in the long term, they would need a stronger mandate to ensure better economic recovery after Malaysia was badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Obviously, everyone knows the numbers now — 113 against 109. No denying that it’s a small majority, a very small majority. It makes things challenging for the government.

“Our attendance will have to be compulsory, especially when there is a vote to ensure that laws will be passed, especially on (the federal) Budget. We must make sure that everyone is there, and we can’t even use the toilet when voting takes place,” said Khairy when questioned by the press.

The Rembau lawmaker noted that former Umno minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek had a point when he said that the government’s majority in the Lower House is too thin after the motion to change the Speaker yesterday.

He added that the PN coalition had created a schedule for ministers and deputy ministers to be on hand in Parliament, especially when an important Bill is to be passed.

Khairy said that it would be unwise to change the government right now through snap elections due to the current economic downturn coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I feel it is important to overcome this phase of economic recovery before we even consider elections. This is a crucial part of the pandemic recovery, to ensure that there are no new waves of infection. We have successfully flattened the infection curve.

“This is a crucial part of the pandemic recovery, to ensure that there are no new waves of infection,” he said.

However, once Malaysia’s economy has recovered, he believes that a stronger mandate from the voters is necessary for the government to function in the long term.

He added it could take anywhere from one year to 18 months before an election should be called.

“Of course, the timing is at the discretion of the prime minister.

“But I feel as member of the administration, once we overcome this period of recovery, in a few months or a year, we should look at a renewed mandate because a stronger mandate for economic recovery is needed to govern,” he said.

Related Articles Asian Tour restart blow as Taiwan Masters golf cancelled Dr Noor Hisham: Malaysia has five new Covid-19 infections, two recoveries today 249 new Covid-19 infections in Singapore, including 16 in the community and 5 imported cases