Govt lost two-thirds majority, hard to amend Federal Constitution

11 Sep 2023 09:30am
Muda's decision to withdraw support for the Unity Government has resulted in the government losing its two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat (Inset: Azizuddin (left), Awang Azman).
Muda's decision to withdraw support for the Unity Government has resulted in the government losing its two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat (Inset: Azizuddin (left), Awang Azman).

SHAH ALAM - Although the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) only holds one parliamentary seat, Muar, represented by its President Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, the party's move to withdraw support for the unity government has resulted in the government losing its two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

Muda’s action has caused the Madani Government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to have only 147 out of 222 parliamentary seats, one short of the number required to easily pass any amendments to the Federal Constitution in the future.

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Politics and International Relations Senior Lecturer Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani pointed out that Muda's withdrawal of support has had some impact on the unity government by depriving it of the two-thirds majority needed to pass any amendments involving the Federal Constitution.

However, Azizuddin said that the issue was not significant in the current political situation due to the government having previously succeeded in amending the Federal Constitution even without a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

"If there are proposals for amendments and so on, the government can now negotiate and sign Confidence and Supply Agreements (CSA) with the opposition to ensure that any resolutions, including amendments to the Constitution, proceed smoothly in Parliament.

"In fact, when Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was Prime Minister, has signed a CSA to ensure that the Dewan Rakyat approved the 2023 Budget," he told Sinar Premium.

The question of whether Muda would remain a component of the unity government that held power in Putrajaya was finally answered when Syed Saddiq announced on Sunday that his party was withdrawing its support.

This action was a protest against the court's decision to discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) Umno President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi on 47 charges involving Yayasan Akalbudi, recently.

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"Muda has decided to become a third force opposition as a protest because today's government has dropped 47 corruption cases. This is the beginning of normalising corruption.

"We cannot and will not compromise with this unprincipled step. Let me be punished rather than lose my principles and commit a great sin," Syed Saddiq stressed.

However, the latest statement issued by the Muda President raises 1,001 questions about whether the party could survive if it moves solo without cooperating with the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-Barisan Nasional (BN) or Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalitions.

Azizuddin elaborated that Syed Saddiq's victory in the Muar Parliament in the 15th General Election (GE15) and Puteri Wangsa State assemblyman Amira Aisya Abd Aziz in the Johor State Election were due to the support of PH voters.

"Without the support of PH voters, it is impossible for Muda to win. In fact, they risk losing their deposits because the party does not have a large grassroots following, thereby reducing their chances of winning in future elections, including GE16," he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaya Malay Studies academy Sociocultural Lecturer Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi added that besides making it difficult for the current government to amend the Constitution, any future efforts to redraw electoral boundaries and increase the number of parliamentary seats would also face challenges.

"However, it is certain that Muda will find it difficult to win any upcoming general elections if they run solo because they are seen as an elitist party with few members and little grassroots support compared to PH-BN or PN," he said.

During the recent state elections, 14 Muda candidates who contested in the Selangor State Assembly suffered a huge loss, resulting in the forfeiture of their deposits.