Never before in Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy has so many issues compete and contend for attention in the first week of the forthcoming 2016 Budget Parliament beginning on Monday, 19th October 2015, whether the Malay Rulers’ Statement of Oct. 6; the political, economic, good governance and nation building scandals shaping up to be a “perfect storm” to batter Malaysia; the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) or the approval of toll rate hikes for 15 highways across the country.
Members of Parliament have not received the Parliamentary Order Paper for the first week or the first day of the 25-day Parliamentary meeting which is to be held from Oct. 19 to Dec. 3, but the following should be the proper agenda for the first week of Parliament from Monday.
For the first week of Parliament from Monday to Thursday, I have given notice to pose oral Parliamentary questions on the hot topics of the day, viz:
1) To ask the Prime Minister to state when and why the multi-agency Task Force on 1MDB was formed and dissolved, what it had achieved; and the reasons and scope of the new Task Force formed by new Attorney-General.
2) To ask the Prime Minister to state who had donated the RM2.6 billion deposited into his personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013; which Ministers and MPs had benefited from it; what is the balance and where are the monies.
3) To ask the Prime Minister to state why he backed off at the last-minute from the Opening Ceremony of 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Putrajaya and what Malaysia has gained from hosting 16th IACC.
4) To ask the Prime Minister whether Malaysia has a kleptocrat as Prime Minister and whether there is satisfactory explanation by US Government on investigation by US Department of Justice under its Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative involving the Prime Minister.
Parliament on Monday should approve a requisition by the DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok, invoking Standing Order 18, asking for an urgent debate on a definite subject of public importance, the scandal and tragedy of the seven missing SK Pos Tohoi children in Gua Musang, ranging from seven to 11 years, for seven weeks, leaving only two survivors in “skin and bones”.
If Teresa Kok’s SO 18 (1) motion is approved, Parliament will debate for an hour from 4.30 pm an education scandal of the first magnitude, which caused the death of five innocent children which would have caused the resignation of the Education Minister in countries where there is a greater sense of Ministerial responsibility and accountability. But in Malaysia, we have an Education Minister who had not deigned the issue important enough to break his silence or to give his personal attention.
The first official parliamentary business after Question Time from 10 am to 11.30 a.m. should be to adopt two motions.
The first motion is to reconstitute the Parliamentary Selection Committee to appoint new members to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, as he is no more Deputy Prime Minister; Datuk Seri Palanivel Govindasay as he is no more MIC Minister; and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as he has been disqualified as Member of Parliament and is serving jail sentence in Sungai Buloh Prison.
The second motion is to fill the three-month vacancy of the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) – created by the strategem of elevating the PAC Chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan as Deputy Home Minister and, together with the elevation of three other PAC members into the Executive as Minister or Deputy Ministers, in effect to block PAC from investigating the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal for at least three months.
There is talk that the Prime Minister may propose the UMNO MP for Ketereh and MARA Chairman, Tan Sri Annuar Musa as the new PAC Chairman.
There can be no more controversial and divisive nominee for the post of PAC Chairman than Annuar Musa, not only because he should have been sacked as MARA Chairman to take responsibility for MARA’s international corruption scandals in Australia which involved
the use of MARA funds to acquire real estate at higher than the market prices but for his role in the racist Sept. 16 Red Shirts Rally and his outrageous claim that he is allowed to be a racist by Islam.
After these two motions, Parliament should set aside two or three days for a motion by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to seek the confidence of Parliament so as to re-establish moral and political authority and legitimacy for him to contine as Prime Minister.
Never before in the six-decade history of the nation with six Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Mahathir, Tun Abdullah and Najib, has the Malaysian Prime Minister suffered such a devastating and prolonged loss of moral and political authority, confidence and legitimacy as Prime Minister as in the case of Najib.
The Wall Street Report on July 2 on the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal; the New York Times Report of Sept. 22 on Najib being probed by US Department of Justice under its Kleptocrat Asset Recovery Initiative 2010; the Malay Rulers’ Statement of Oct. 6 and the gathering of the former UMNO/BN Government “big guns” like former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, his arch rival Tengku Raleigh Hamzah, former Deputy Prime Minister and current UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Rural and Regional Development Minister and current UMNO National Vice President Datuk Shafie Apdal, former Cabinet Minister and former UMNO Secretary-General Tan Sri Sanusi Junid and two ex-MCA Presidents Tun Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat ganging up against Najib for the misuse of Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) against Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang, are body blows to the moral and political authority and legitimacy of Najib as Prime Minster.
Of course, Najib can pretend that “all is well” and that his premiership had never been so admired in the national and international arena.
But if he is to be true to his claim as a “Bugis warrior”, he should not run away from a battle in the way he had backed off from the Nothing2hide Forum on 1MDB in early June or the 16th IACC Opening Ceremony early last month. On the contrary, Najib should take the battle of his premiership to Parliament on the very first day by moving a motion of confidence in him as Prime Minister of Malaysia.
This is what Hussein Onn did when he became Prime Minister in early 1976 and what Najib should do to continue as Prime Minister after the cavalcade of disasters befalling him as Prime Minister as well as the nation.
Of course, Najib could bide his time and see whether there would be any motion of no confidence against him in the forthcoming Parliament, convinced that any motion of no confidence would be blocked and sabotaged by a Speaker who would do his bidding, but this would not be keeping with his boast to a “true Bugis warrior”!
Najib moving a motion of confidence on Monday when Parliament reconvenes would be a smart political move, as at this moment of time, it appears unlikely that a majority could be organised to defeat Najib’s confidence motion.
If Najib misses this chance, the possibility of a “no confidence motion” being moved and to get a majority support during the course of the 25-day budget parliamentary meeting until Dec. 3 would improve by the day.
IDEAS executive director Wan Saiful Wan Jan has said that Muhyiddin or Tengku Razaleigh must openly challenge Prime Minister Najib to bring about change, as otherwise nothing will ever happen in the country.
Wan Saiful said that unless Muhyiddin or Ku Li step up to say that they want to challenge Najib, Monday’s gathering of “big guns” would be a no starter.
In principle, there should be no problem with Pakatan Harapan parties and Members of Parliament co-operating with UMNO/BN elements, led to Mahathir, Tengku Razaleigh Hazah and Muhyiddin to “save the country” from the “perfect storm” of a multitude of economic, political, good governance and nation-building crises which would hurtle Malaysia down the slippery slope of a rogue and failed state.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Muhyiddin and Shafie should seriously consider sponsoring a motion in Parliament at the end of the month to condemn the misuse of Sosma to persecute Khairuddin and Chang for their patriotic act in connection with the 1MDB scandal.
The support of the 72 Members of Parliament of the Pakatan Harapan parties of DAP, PKR and AMANAH for any such move to condemn the misuse of Sosma and to demand the immediate release of Khairuddin and Chang should not be a problem at all.
However, Pakatan Harapan are not just interested in the removal of Najib as Prime Minister, but want to ensure that the breakdown of the rule of law, good governance and proper nation-building policies as happened under Najib could not be repeated in future, whoever becomes the Prime Minister.
On Friday, Oct. 23, Parliament is set for the presentation of the 2016 Budget by the Finance Minister.
If there is no motion whethen seeking confidence or of “no confidence” in the first week of Parliament, will the voting on the 2016 Budget during the end of the policy debate in early November become a test-case whether Najib still commands the confidence of the majority of Members of Parliament?