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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A vote of no confidence carries some risks

By SSK


Yesterday, PAS vice-president Husam Musa proposed a no-confidence motion or a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when Parliament commences next month.

A motion of no confidence, a vote of confidence, or a vote of no confidence, is a feature of the Westminster system of government that Malaysia is using. It basically means the executive, in this case the Prime Minister, is required to retain the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament.

In Malaysia’s case it must be at least 112 of the 222 Members of Parliament.

Malaysia has not yet seen any motion of no confidence passed against the Prime Minister but the last one passed in England was in March 1979 and the one before that in 1924.

It is easier to pass a vote of no confidence when it is a minority government but more difficult when the government has a clear majority like in Malaysia because the ruling party will have to break ranks and work with the opposition for the vote to be passed.

Once a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister is passed with a simple majority, the Prime Minister either resigns or he seeks the consent of the His Majesty the Agong to dissolve Parliament. Since the Agong has to act on the advice of the Prime Minister, most likely consent will be given because if His Majesty does not give consent then His Majesty would be accused of interfering in politics.

And this would mean once the vote of no confidence is passed against Najib then Malaysia would face a fresh general election.

In 1977, PAS passed a vote of no confidence against the Kelantan Menteri Besar but he refused to resign. The Menteri Besar then requested that HRH the Sultan dissolve the Kelantan State Assembly but consent was denied. This resulted in riots and the declaration of an emergency.

Therefore, such methods do not always prove the best or the most peaceful and Kelantan has proven this. Does Husam want to take this risk of evicting the Prime Minister by force, like what PAS did against the Kelantan MB in 1977, which resulted in turmoil? We need to find a more peaceful solution to solve political disagreements.

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