Media Comment by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 18th
SAPP’s No Confidence Motion in Parliament against Abdullah as Prime
Minister on Monday - will there be a second political tsunami in the
next few days with waves of support from BN MPs from Sabah, Sarawak and
Peninsula Malaysia in the next few days?
Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) has dropped a bombshell when its
president Yong Teck Lee announced that its two MPs, Dr. Chua Soon Bui (Tawau)
and Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar) would move a no-confidence motion against
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when Parliament resumes on Monday.
But will be bombshell land in Parliament on Monday?
With the ruling coalition commanding unbroken two-thirds parliamentary
majority in the 11 general elections since Merdeka in 1957 until the
recent political tsunami of the March 2008 general election, there had
never been any no confidence motion against the Prime Minister in
Malaysian parliamentary history.
The Parliamentary Standing Orders do not have special provision for a no
In the circumstances, a no confidence motion may be regarded as an
ordinary motion under Standing Order 27 which requires notice of 14 days
to be given – making it impossible for such a no confidence motion to be
tabled on Monday, June 23, 2008 as the earliest would be July 2 if the
no confidence motion is submitted today.
Standing Order 18 which allows an MP to move a motion to adjourn the
House to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance will be
inappropriate and unhelpful as it only allows one hour debate on the
specified issue without any vote being taken at the end of the debate.
The only way for a no confidence motion to be tabled and debated on
Monday is for the Speaker to treat it as a substantive and extraordinary
motion which should take precedence and priority over all parliamentary
business which does not need to comply with the requisite 14-day notice
and publishing it as the first item of parliamentary business after
Question Time in the Parliamentary Order of Business on Monday.
In doing so, however, the Speaker is likely be in direct loggerheads
with the government of the day and must be prepared to pay the
consequences of such decision.
I see little possibility of SAPP’s No Confidence Motion against Abdullah
as Prime Minister being tabled and debated on Monday unless there is a
second political tsunami in the next few days, with waves of support
from other Barisan Nasional MPs from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsula
Malaysia making it a credible parliamentary move.
Whether the SAPP no confidence motion is tabled and debated in
Parliament on Monday, its very announcement has set off political waves
in the country confirming the longstanding, widespread and deepseated
discontent of the people of Sabah at their unfair treatment by Umno
leaders, whether at Federal or State level.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor