Do MPs vote according to their consciences?



Do MPs vote according to their consciences?
By Zan Azlee

It is the right of the rakyat to question why their representative in Parliament did not attend a sitting because, well, that is the representative’s main responsibility.

And several days ago, the rakyat who voted for Pakatan Rakyat did just that when they questioned why 26 of their Members of Parliament were absent in the Dewan Rakyat.

Their absence then saw the Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2015 (POTA) being voted in 79 to 60 after being debated for over 12 hours until the wee hours of the morning.

The public was rife with criticism, complaints, accusations and anger. They said that if only all the Pakatan Rakyat representatives had showed up, then the vote would have been different.

However, it is important to note that no matter what, the Barisan Nasional representatives still outnumbered Pakatan Rakyat. Hence, the ruling party and the opposition.

And Malaysia practices the whip system where there is someone called the chief whip who makes sure that all the lawmakers from that particular party would vote along the party line.

Not all the Barisan Nasional were present on that fateful day either. And if their numbers remained the same and all of the opposition turned up, it would have been a different story.

But, if that were to happen (Pakatan Rakyat outnumbering Barisan Nasional), what would have stopped their chief whip from issuing a directive for all his people to turn up and vote? [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

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