— Lucius Goon
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 29, 2011
NOV 29 — In a democracy it comes down to numbers. Barisan Nasional has more numbers in Parliament and is able to push through legislation, even when it is self-serving and meant for regime preservation.
This afternoon the Peaceful Assembly Bill was passed in Parliament by BN members and the frogs (calling them independent would be a disservice to independents the world over). Pakatan Rakyat MPs walked out because they wanted the Bill to be withdrawn and redrawn.
But that was never going to happen. As it is the Najib government was forced to eat humble pie and amend the Bill after it was pointed out that the legislation was even more regressive than Myanmar’s new laws on protests.
There is no use wailing or crying foul. BN has the numbers and we gave them the numbers in 2008. So it is perfectly legitimate for them to rubber stamp any legislation they want, except any change in law which requires two-thirds of Parliament’s support.
It is not the end of the world. We can always take back the numbers we gave them in 2008 and make sure that the next government repeals the Peaceful Assembly Act.
But if there is one lesson which we should take from today, it is this: it will be a dangerous gambit for us to give BN enough seats for them to have two-thirds majority in Parliament. Very, very dangerous.
Because then they will be able to change the Federal Constitution, put restrictions on the freedom of religion, assembly, revocation of citizenship and the like.