What is a ‘back-door’ plot to overthrow the government?


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What is a ‘back-door’ plot to overthrow the government?
By Zan Azlee

In many countries, conspiracies and plots to overthrow the government are serious crimes. I agree because it is undemocratic to overthrow an elected government.

Depending on what is involved, a group of people (or an individual) could be charged with treason for doing something like that.

So when the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a group of members of parliament were plotting to overthrow the government, I took it seriously.

I thought that things were getting dangerous and I imagined all kinds of scenarios, including violent coup d’etat the likes of those in South America and Middle East.

What scary “back-door” tactics were going to be used by this gang of rogue MPs? To be honest, I was afraid how this would affect the lives of all Malaysians.

Then I heard the accusation of what this “back-door” tactic was. Apparently, a group of MPs were planning to sign a statutory declaration (SD).

They were going to declare in the SDs that they would had no confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

This took me by surprise. How did Zahid equate this to being an undemocratic and a “back-door” conspiracy or plot to overthrow the government?

Several Cabinet members have even been vocal that this is undemocratic because the only way to change the government is through a general election.

But isn’t it stated quite clearly in the Federal Constitution that MPs have a right to hold a vote for no-confidence in the prime minister’s leadership?

And with that vote of no-confidence, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can remove the prime minister or dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections. That is quite constitutional, to say the least.

And if we’re already looking at the legalities of it, isn’t the legal system in Malaysia based on precedence through previous court cases?

Remember the 2009 Perak assembly saga? After the elections, there was a flip-flopping of assemblymen defecting and crossing over from one party to another.

This resulted in the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government to call for a dissolution of the assembly. But, the opposition Barisan Nasional fought its claim for the government in court.

And the court ruled that the defections and crossovers would hold. Hence BN grabbed the state government from Pakatan Rakyat.

Would that not mean that there is already a precedence that a claim for the government could be made through legal means instead of through a general election?

Now I’m thankful that this “back-door” conspiracy or plot to overthrow the government does not involve violent means and I am no longer afraid.

But, I’m still unsure of how this intention to sign an SD to declare no confidence in the prime minister may be considered undemocratic and a “back-door” plot to overthrow the government.

Oh well.

[This article originally appeared at The Malaysian Insider]

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