UMNO Supreme Council member and MP for Kuala Selangor Irmohizam Ibrahim is the latest UMNO leader to make a fool of himself, aggravating the critical political scenario where the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is fighting for his political life in the forthcoming 14th General Election.
Imohizam accused DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua of lying when Tony said that a private member’s bill from the Opposition had never been given a chance in Parliament.
“This is an obvious falsehood which they try to peddle so that the rakyat will believe their every lie.
“This is because private members’ bills from the opposition have been tabled in parliament before, and it is very strange if they deny this themselves.”
Irmohizam said in 1977, three opposition private members’ bills were put forth, two by me and one by DAP’s Kinta MP Ngan Siong Hing.
Irmohizan even lambasted me for not correcting Tony Pua’s statement and claimed that this was all a part of an Opposition exercise to “trap and deceive” the people with lies and falsehoods.
I checked Tony Pua’s FaceBook posting dated April 6 which said:
“Opposition motions and bills have never made it to the House Floor for debate in the history of Malaysian Parliament (after the Standing Orders were amended in 1978) because BN controls what gets tabled, in collusion with the House Speaker.”
Tony is right. Until the Standing Orders were amended, DAP MPs including myself were submitting motions to seek leave of Parliament to move private member’s bill, which had to be debated (although invariably denied) as they occupy a higher order of priority than government business (such as government bills and motions) in the parliamentary Order of Business.
But this parliamentary facility for the presentation of motions seeking leave of Parliament for a private member’s bill was made a “dead letter” when the Standing Orders were amended by pushing it down the order of priority of parliamentary business, i.e. after official business, which means that no motion on a private member’s bill could “surface” in Parliament without consent by the government.
Among the private member’s bills which I had sought to bring up in Parliament, until the Standing Orders were amended to virtually “kill” private member’s bill were private member’s bill to fix a basic living wage for workers; to tighten the Prevention of Corruption Act 1951 to combat corruption in high political places; to address the problem of unfair dismissal; to make the National Bureau of Investigations (NBI), the anti-corruption agency, answerable only to Parliament and to outlaw defection of Members of Parliament to ensure political integrity by requiring a by-election in every case of party defection, etc.
What has Hishammuddin’s unusual appointment today has anything to do with this? It is an example of the of counter-productive antics by UMNO leaders like Irmohizam Ibrahim that Hishammuddin has been given super-added powers to create proper conditions for Najib to fight and win power in the 14th General Election.
It is obvious that although UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers had launched a massive offensive against the Pakatan Harapan leaders, with me targeted in unprecedented demonization campaign of lies, falsehoods and invectives; Tun Mahathir, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin; Datuk Seri Azmin Amin, Mohamad Sabu among others painted as my stooges and puppets, subjects of my “remote control” or “mind control”; unprecedented outpouring of lies, falsehoods and invectives by UMNO/BN owned or controlled mainstream media and social media (including the pernicious and mischievous Utusan Malaysia logo “Asalkan Bukan Pakatan Kit Siang” with pictures of Mahathir, Anwar, Azizah, Azmin and Mohy Sabu), things are not going right for Najib and UMNO!
Najib knew that what Mahathir recently told Bloomberg in an interview is not without basis – that the six-decade UMNO rule may be finally nearing its end, that the sentiment on the ground is so strong that Najib will fall in the next general election as “everybody you talk to today, anybody at all, none have good words for the government, especially Najib”.
This a failure of the new propaganda offensive which was launched after the massive UMNO purges in July 2015, which saw the appointment of a new Deputy Prime Minister, a new BN Strategic Media Director and a new propaganda offensive.
I see the appointment of Hishammuddin not only as Najib’s loss of confidence in Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi as Najib’s deputy, but also in the new UMNO/BN political and propaganda architecture after July 2015, in particular Najib’s loss of confidence in his new political lieutenants, in particular Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
I do not think Hishammuddin’s appointment is an indication of Najib’s exit plan before the 14GE but instead, marks Najib’s realization that things are not going well on the ground and he needs a Super-Minister to salvage the situation.
Hishammuddin may not be the Deputy Prime Minister but he has clearly become the second most powerful person in the UMNO/BN government.