Given that Umno MPs/cabinet ministers helped push up Hadi’s 355 bill in previous sittings of Parliament, opponents of the bill are not taking chances.
Already Tawfik Ismail, whose father Ismail Abd Rahman served as Deputy Prime Minister to Najib’s father Razak, has filed a suit against the parliamentary speaker in a bid to halt the bill’s momentum in Parliament.
Meanwhile, 67 civil society groups, including Aliran, are urging members of Parliament who are against the bill to make sure they turn up for the entire sitting tomorrow in case the bill is pushed up the order paper and put to a vote.
This is an excerpt from the statement:
The public and the parliamentarians must remember that the 355 bill is alive despite the BN’s U-turn in tabling it as a government bill. The BN may just fast-track the motion and allow its MPs to vote on it freely. If enough MPs who object to the bill have gone home early, it can be adopted as per Zahid’s declaration. The BN’s reversal last Wednesday will then be shrewdly reversed.
As this is an ordinary bill, passing the motion will require only a simple majority. In other words, if only 60 MPs stay in the House when the motion to table the bill is put to a vote, it can be passed with a 31-29 majority.
Hence, any parliamentarian who is absent when the bill is put to a vote should be seen as silently supporting the bill, whatever their publicly-declared position is. If the motion is passed and the bill becomes a government bill, all those who are absent should be held responsible alongside those who vote for the motion.
Therefore, even if the MPs have bought their air tickets to return home early, they must stay on until the parliamentary sitting is over. It is their duty to make laws and they cannot find any excuse to abdicate their constitutional duty.
Read the full statement on the Aliran website.
This bill has to be voted down for it will take our nation away from the constitutional framework laid down in 1957.