"Don't curtail lawmakers' voting rights," says Bersih

18 Dec 2022 06:01pm
Image for illustrative purposes only - 
Image for illustrative purposes only - BERNAMA

SHAH ALAM - The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih) has sounded the alarm over the government's controversial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) involving government MPs that has an automatic-resignation clause for ally lawmakers with dissenting views.

The non-profit said it was concerned with how the MoU curtails the free will of parliamentarians in voting and that it may result in dangerous executive dominance under the pretext of wanting to prevent political instability.

Its steering committee, pointed out that it is deeply alarmed with Point 4(b) and (d) of the MoU -- which jointly carried the contentious automatic-resignation effect --, arguing that it threatens to remove all autonomy of MPs in voting in the Dewan Rakyat.

"With a two-third majority government, that would be a blank cheque to constitutional amendments," warned Bersih.

Currently only MPs from DAP and Amanah can have their party membership be revoked in the event they fail to toe along the party line as such legal instrument has been added into the constitution of the two political parties.

"Bersih urges any party intending to amend their party constitution to confine parliamentarians' voting freedom to limit it to only confidence and supply matters.

"To this end of preserving parliamentarians' voting freedom, the government's defeats in major legal and even constitutional bills must not be seen as an expression of no-confidence to the government.

"Otherwise, parties can force their will on their parliamentarians in the pretext to avoid a no-confidence vote against the government," Bersih stressed.