Even if the four absent PH MPs voted, the bill would still not pass, clarifies PKR leader

Vernon Kedit

KUCHING, April 12: State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) information chief Vernon Kedit clarifies that even if the four absent Pakatan Harapan MPs were present during the bloc voting of the Amendment Bill for Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, it would still not achieve a two-thirds majority support for the Bill to pass.

“The contention now is that the four missing MPs from PH are to be blamed for failing to help carry the vote through. This is not correct. Even if the four were present and voted in favour, there would only be 142 votes for the Bill.

“A further six votes would still be required to achieve a two-thirds majority. This is simple Arithmetic,” he said in a statement today following questions from reporters asking if the absent PH MPs were the reason why the Bill failed to go through on Tuesday (April 9).

The four PH MPs who were absent are Education Minister Maszlee Malik, Deputy Local Industries Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar, Kangar MP Noor Amin Ahmad and Sungai Besar MP Muslimin Yahya.

“Before certain parties start to confuse layman Sarawakians, allow me to spell it out. There are 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat or Lower House of the Malaysian Parliament. Currently, only 221 seats are occupied, and Sandakan became vacant when its representative passed away recently.

“To amend the Constitution, two-thirds of the Lower House must agree. Two-thirds of 221 MPs is 148 MPs,” Vernon explained.

During the April 9 Parliament sitting, only 197 of the 221 MPs were present in the Lower House and 24 were missing. Of the 24 missing, he said four were from PH.

Vernon explained that 138 MPs voted for the amendment, while 59 abstained. And of the 138 that voted for the Bill, 115 were MPs from PH.

“The rest were independents and other MPs from Sabah. Of the 59 that abstained, 19 were from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), and the rest were from Umno and PAS.

“Instead of living up to its word of being PH-friendly and supporting a Bill that would have empowered Sarawak and return us to the status before 1976, GPS apparently sided with Umno and PAS by abstaining,” he said.

Vernon pointed out that had the 19 GPS MPs voted for the Bill on the night of April 9, Sarawak would have ceased to be the 13th state in Malaysia, but an equal partner.

“Alas, history remembers who failed Sarawak and Sarawakians,” he said. — DayakDaily