By Francis Paul Siah
THE view of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that Parliament sitting can convene during an emergency is perhaps the best indicator of a return to political normalcy. Hopefully.
For the past year, Malaysians have been living in abnormal times, with widespread suffering and uncertainties. Attempting to revolutionise our way of life under the Covid-19 pandemic is easier said than done. Let’s be honest about it; we have been groping in the dark.
As the nation continues to be on autopilot since the Sheraton putsch a year ago, Malaysians are lost and unable to navigate their way out of the convoluted maze.
Imagine a scenario of a blind government leading a blind citizenry. This is not a “new normal”; it is a clear, absolute abnormality.
So, we welcome the royal pronouncement as the long-awaited bout of fresh air.
In a statement on Feb 24, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the king has stated his view that Parliament can resume on a date deemed suitable by the ruler upon the advice of the prime minister.
When the emergency was proclaimed on Jan 12, the majority of Malaysians would have none of it.
Almost anyone who matters, from former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, civil society leaders to senior retired government bigwigs and professional bodies were all against the emergency.
Even several leaders of Umno, a Perikatan Nasional coalition partner, spoke up against a supposedly pro-pandemic emergency (as claimed by the PN government). No other country has declared an emergency to fight the pandemic, being a key argument.
Critics had also accused Muhyiddin Yassin of exploiting the emergency to remain in power after several lawmakers within the government withdrew their support for him.
That soon became the common and all-powerful allegation against the prime minister since Jan 12. It was also claimed that Muhyiddin would not be able to survive a no-confidence vote in Parliament today.
No confidence vote
Now that Parliament will likely be convening soon, the prime minister’s fate should be decided at its proper forum – in the august legislative chambers.
It is clearly written that the MP or party leader able to command the majority support in the House will be the prime minister. Whoever that might be, let the constitutional process takes its course. That is the right channel to take.
I am all for selecting a new prime minister in Parliament than to go for a general election now. Why do we need to force an election when GE15 is only due in 2023 – two more years to go?
Whether it’s Pakatan Harapan’s Anwar or still Muhyiddin or any other candidate, let the MPs vote it out in Parliament. GE15 can wait till its due date in 2023.
If fighting Covid-19 and the lives of Malaysians are of top priority, then let’s channel the funds for a costly election to contain the pandemic and assist the needy. Covid-19 is expected to be with us for another year or two. It will not disappear in August.
This week, talks of a general election went up another notch yet again. Umno’s Khairy Jamaluddin and PBB’s Alexander Nanta Linggi threw their weight on holding GE15 in the coming months.
Khairy has suggested that it might be possible for a general election to be held once half of the population has been inoculated. He pointed to a September date at the earliest.
Linggi opined that “it is viable for Sarawak, which has been holding its state elections separately from the general elections since 1978, to hold both elections concurrently in the upcoming polls”.
Politicians will generally argue that it is necessary to hold a general election to restore political stability.
But they never bother to ask themselves who are responsible for the political squabbles and instability that we are facing today.
Is it the politicians or the people? As far as I know, the rakyat had dutifully performed their duty to vote in May 2018 and they are expected to do so only once every five years.
Are not our politicians creating a nuisance themselves and burdening the people to go out and vote again, two or three years after an election? Seriously, what utter nonsense is this?
I know that many are fed up with the current crop of politicians and choose to be indifferent now. Probably, they couldn’t be bothered to go out and vote again as they are aware they will be voting for the same quarrelsome morons, traitors and backstabbers.
My term for such characters are “political parasites and leeches” and I believe they will be lining up again seeking re-election. These leeches just refuse to let go.
No, I will not waste my time going out to vote for a parasite or a moron.
On polling day, I guess I will derive more comfort and pleasure at home watching the new TV offering, Alliance of Political Crooks.
Then, I will not be held responsible, too, for being involved with a crook by giving him my vote.
Francis Paul Siah is the author of Hijack in Malaysia: The Fall of Pakatan Harapan. This piece was first appeared in Malaysiakini.