Monday, October 26, 2015

Khairy, it is not irresponsible to vote down the Budget.

By: Choo Sing Chye

Khairy should have known better that it is not “irresponsible” to vote down the Supply Bill (Budget).  
He said:

other than forcing the stoppage of government service to the people, the action too, if successful, was a risk to civil servants in the aspect of salary payment. 
This is because the government expenditure is based on the Parliament Act which required the approval of Parliament before the allocation revealed in the budget could be spent.  MalayMailOnline – October 22, 2015.

If Khairy wants to alarm the GPA 3.8 to GPA 4 Ministers, I believe he did it very well.   

Now even The Star’s columnist, Joceline Tan joins in the flay saying that, 

sabotaging a Budget is rarely a good idea because it will lead to a government lockdown, deprive government servants of their salaries and jeopardise amenities and services for the rakyat. And all because politicians are out to play politics and score political points. (MalaysiaToday website 25-10-2015)

Voting, whether against or for the Budget or any other Bills for the matter, is a required fundamental duty of all MPs.   

Khairy has every right to call on the MPs to vote for the Budget, but he cannot call  MPs “irresponsible”  if they do not.  It is utterly silly of him to do so.  

It is necessary for all MPs including Khairy to understand that it is the constituents that they are representing.  

They must  carry with them the burden of representing the aspirations of their constituents even at risk of  being censured by their own party colleagues  when they fail to toe the party line. 

So far, I haven’t seen this in most of our MPs.

Voting for or against the Budget must therefore be solely rest upon the quality of the debate and merits of the Budget.   

Hence it must be made very clear that voting against an ineffective  budget is not “irresponsible or sabotage”.

As for Khairy's and Joseline Tan's information, the Westminster Model do not have stoppages or “shut-downs” as seen in the United States.   

In the Westminster Model, the government immediately resign to pave the way for new elections. 

Thus watching too much CNN can distort the perception on the workings of the Westminster Modeled government.

If the 2016 Budget is defeated here, will the government of the day resign?   

In Malaysia, there is no precedence to test because the Budget had never been defeated before. 

Even if it does come to this point, nobody can predict the outcome as we have a very unpredictable Speaker in the House. 

But in the United Kingdom which our system is based, conveys a narrative that when the Budget is defeated, the government of the day resigns.  It is downright shameful for the government of the day to stay on.

In an hypothetical  scenario,  if the government of the day in UK is too thick skinned and refuses to resign then what?  

If this happens there would be no government expenditure for the following year.  

Even if this problem materialises, there will be no stoppages or shut down in the civil service, because when the time comes, the Queen will use her prerogative powers to frame an Order in Council.  

This Order will be make in the Queen's name and subsequently be presented through the Privy Council bypassing the Parliament to unlock the expenditure to advert the impending break-down of the  government.  

This Order is legal and doubles as Acts of Parliament  but without its consent.  

As it stands the BN’s budget will never be defeated, because it stills hold the majority in the Parliament.  

1.   Hung Parliament? – Just Rump it, like in Perak.

And believe me, the sacking of the ‘Rump Parliament’  in 1653, bear uncanny resemblance to what happened in 2009 where the  Pakatan Perak State Government was removed unceremoniously.   Just look at the satire sketch above  and the description attached to it and you will see the similarity.

2. Shadowing's more crucial than shadow cabinets
Although it is a British conventional practice used in Canada, they avoid using the term shadow ministers. In its place, the term ‘critics' is used as a common designate.

3. Shadow Cabinet – Do we have one in Malaysia?
By demanding the Opposition to form a Shadow Cabinet had at last removed any skepticism that there is a competing power to Putrajaya.

But this recognition is meaningless if barriers are put up at every single mile towards Putrajaya to thwart the Opposition from taking over.

4. Toeing the Party line – a bona fide Westminster practice

Now that lorry loads of diverse commentaries that had been dispensed by various parties on the subject of ‘toeing the party line’, it is unfortunate that none of the Barisan Nasional’s proxy paper and electronic media had given a plausible argument.