No more backdoor governments, just call for GE15
By Zan Azlee
Anwar Ibrahim has the numbers to form the government. It isn’t a small, unstable majority of one or two MPs, but a formidable majority. It includes MPs from both sides of the divide, including those who are in the current government. The Perikatan Nasional government of Muhyiddin Yassin has been toppled.
Or so says Anwar Ibrahim himself. Don’t get me wrong. Since the Sheraton Move happened when MPs from Pakatan Harapan suddenly switched sides and formed a different government, pulling the rug from under Harapan, I’ve been pretty upset and have hoped that something can be done to bring it back to how it was.
Many people said that a snap election should be called. But I have to admit that I wasn’t agreeable to that because I felt a lack of confidence that Harapan would win it. Come on. Their win in 2018 wasn’t even expected. Not only by us, but by themselves too. So, another election could just ‘legitimise’ the Sheraton Move.
I don’t know what I was hoping for, but I was hoping for something that would allow Harapan to reclaim Putrajaya without an election. But after months have gone by, I think I’ve come to terms that what happened has happened. It was dirty but it wasn’t illegal. So PN (with the likes of Umno) is now the government.
It is a government that the majority of voters in 2018 did not elect. We had elected a Harapan government with their manifesto and promises. We did not elect PN. In fact, PN didn’t even exist during that election. These MPs just decided for themselves to form a government of their own liking, with no regard for the voters.
So when Anwar announced that he had the numbers to take Putrajaya two days ago, I guess I would have expected to be excited and elated. I mean, that was what I was hoping for when the Sheraton Move happened. But, not really. Maybe it’s fatigue, but I think the country is currently in limbo, being led by a junta.
In his very vague press conference at Le Meridien (hence the Anwar Move), Anwar said that he has a very formidable number and that the MPs who support him also consist of many from the PN’s side. It will also be a government that will represent all races but a majority bumiputera government. That’s all he said. Anything more will be after his meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Firstly, how true is Anwar’s claim? It can be seen as far fetched. Sure, Umno’s president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed that there are Umno MPs who are supporting Anwar. Warisan’s Mat Sabu says that his party is with Anwar. DAP’s Lim Guan Eng says that if Anwar can take Putrajaya, then his party will be with him too.
How will they see eye to eye to govern?
But assuming that there are Umno and PAS MPs who will be supporting the Anwar Move, how will DAP be a part of a coalition with these parties that have a totally different political and ideological stand? What would that mean for the administration that is formed? How will they see eye to eye to govern the country?
Secondly, is what Anwar is doing now that is really beneficial and serving the people? If what Azmin Ali and Muhyiddin did is considered unethical and a ‘backdoor’ government, then the Anwar Move would be equally as unethical and ‘backdoor’. Anwar claims that it isn’t ‘backdoor’ because he has the mandate of the MPs. That’s exactly what Muhyiddin too said.
Anwar will be forming a new coalition under the Anwar Move. And just like PN, this coalition did not exist during the election in 2018. What would the manifesto of this new coalition be? We wouldn’t know because that too wasn’t around during the election in 2018. And even if the manifesto is made known, what can we do about it?
Can we disagree with the manifesto and the new coalition? Can we say we don’t want this new coalition and that we want another as the government? The answer is no. The people have no say in anything that is happening. The different political parties and MPs are doing everything on their own, as if it’s their sole right to determine what happens to the country.
Some of the Umno and PAS MPs gathered at Parliament.
How does Anwar know that the people are okay with all these negotiations that he has been making to come up with his number? How does he know that the people want Umno and PAS MPs to be in the new government? How does he know all of this without a general election where the people can decide?
So, I strongly say that we need to dissolve Parliament and call for a general election. That is the only way to resolve the issue. We cannot keep having our MPs forming one government and another and another and another. Actually, this makes a very strong case for laws to be formed to prevent something like this from happening again.
As much as I do not want Perikatan Nasional as a government, I also do not want other people deciding for me what government I should have. I would like to have the right to make that decision for myself. I am sure that all Malaysians feel the same way as I do. 2018 proved that Malaysians can decide for themselves. So let’s reset and do it again.
[This article was originally written for and published at Malaysiakini.com]
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there should be laws to provide for fresh elections of the constituency if the elected rep frogs. many have asked for a jail term but i think that is short sighted as most presume that ppl frog bcoz of money or personal gain… however there can be a situation where ppl frog for legit reasons, hence fresh elections… it should not be a crime to frog but it will negate the election.