Malaysia's March 9 parliamentary meeting must not be postponed, says human rights group

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said that he has not yet received an update on whether the Parliament meeting would go ahead as planned. PHOTO: CHOO CHOY MAY

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The scheduled March 9 parliamentary meeting must not be postponed, as the Dewan Rakyat should be a test bed for the new Prime Minister's support, says a human rights group.

Aliran said the former ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) should be allowed to bring up a vote of no-confidence to see if the newly appointed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has a simple majority in Parliament.

Any delay in the parliamentary meeting would prolong the political uncertainty and allow time for "unethical deals" to be brokered to entice support, said Aliran.

"This should be the first order of business.

"It (Parliament) is thus the most appropriate avenue to test if the newly appointed Prime Minister really commands the confidence of the majority of the MPs," said Aliran in a statement on Monday (March 2).

Aliran said that should Mr Muhyiddin be unable to command a majority in Parliament, then the PH leader should be given a chance to show that he has the majority.

"Whichever leader can command the majority should be allowed to form the government and see through the remaining three years of the five-year term," it said.

However, should the situation still be unable to be resolved via this vote of confidence process, then Aliran said it may be necessary to call for a snap general election.

On Monday, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said that he has not yet received an update on whether the Parliament meeting would go ahead as planned.

It was understood that Mr Mohamad Ariff had written to Mr Muhyiddin to ask whether the Dewan Rakyat's meeting scheduled on March 9 will proceed or be postponed.

Aliran added that with the change of government not even halfway through the term, the people's will during the 14th General Election (GE14) in May 2018 had been thwarted.

"Aliran is appalled over the ousting of a democratically elected government by MPs who cast aside the five-year mandate given by voters in GE14.

"It seems that we are now going to be governed by a new coalition that includes a number of questionable characters.

"This can only be described as an extraordinary subversion of democracy," said Aliran.

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