The bloc vote to approve the Supply Bill 2018 at the committee level for the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) at Dewan Rakyat disputed by the Members of Parliament from the opposition bloc is nothing unusual as it does not violate the rules of the meeting and although the draw was just over one vote, it is still considered a win.
On the contrary, it is hence very odd when the opposition lawmakers intentionally reject the 2018 Budget for the said Ministry, yet they participated the debate to show concern and at times they even went to the extent to agree. It was just politically motivated when they voted out.
Soon after KPDNKK minister Hamzah Zainudin completed his winding-up speech, realising that there was less BN MP present, G Manivannan (PKR-Kapar) stood up to propose for a block voting to decide the Supply Bill approval.
It was consented by Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee and ended up with 52 votes from BN bloc in favour and 51 opposition MPs against them while 2 PAS representatives abstained. Eventually, it ended up in a verbal spat over the block voting results.
However, the voting process has taken longer than usual and this was criticized by the opposition supposedly violating the rules of the meeting as there were BN MPs who appeared late into the House after the bell calls stopped.
Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Ronald Kiandee pointed out that he did not violate the rules as there is no provision mentioning in the Standing Order with reference to regulation 41, 42 and 43, that any members of parliament who are late or any specified time frame, that their votes are disqualified when the voting process is still ongoing.
What exactly was the opposition motives to thwart the KPDNKK bill? It is possible that Pakatan Harapan is protesting against the petrol price hike for the past few weeks. But unfortunately, what these PH MPs did not highlight to the rakyat is that the government did not impose the tax against RON95 whereas the government gain tax revenue from RON97 which are largely consumed by the rich.
Hence, the bloc votes ought to be politicised by them.
Despite the usual brouhaha from the opposition protest, this shows that our country democracy is alive and well. A win remains a win even if with one vote and the process was conducted in accordance with procedures under the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat.
Shame on you! Even with the least number of BN MPs present, the opposition still failed in their attempt to entrap them. During the voting process, what surprises most is the key leaders from opposition blocs were nowhere to be seen. Their opposition leader Wan Azizah, Azmin Ali and Nurul Izzah Anwar were absent from the Dewan, PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin and the Warisan Sabah Shafie Apdal were also missing. Even Lim Kit Siang was absent yesterday.