The 13 Seats Saga – Is Shafie Smelling A Rat; Overdone Furore Over A Flag

ZAHID HAS CONTENDED THAT THE PM COULD OVER RULE ANY DECISIONS MADE BY THE STATE ASSEMBLY? ARE WE NO LONGER A COUNTRY RULED BY LAWS?

COMMENT: The highly controversial redelineation report that was passed in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday has left many breathless at the speed it was conducted.

It must be a record of sorts where our federal legislators (or MPs) were only given 10 minutes each to debate this “very important” motion and it was passed on the same day, with the Speaker from Sabah seeing to it.

The opposition members were naturally furious with this bull dozing act which was obvious to all.

Our Parliament looked like it was reduced to a mere rubber stamp this round.

This gerrymandering exercise, together with the Anti-Fake News Bill, was meant to intimidate the opposition of course.

Shafie Apdal and Pakatan Harapan lawmakers at a Press Conference in Parliament in mid week to protest the super-swift approval of the Redelineation Bill. But for Sabah, the additional 13 seats gazetted in the State Constitution about two years ago, was not mentioned at all.

There were no additional seats, but only changes to the names and electorate structure of several constituencies – mainly opposition-held.

What this really meant was the moving of large numbers of voters in the affected areas.

The gap between the rural and urban voters further widened and so will the racial makeup of the constituencies.

The idea is to establish a political advantage to the government even if it means racial politics is further promoted.

While this exercise was confined to Malaya, Sabah was in for a shock too as there were no additional (State) seats here as the redelineation exercise did not include any recommendations for electoral boundary changes in the State.

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The State Assembly actually amended the State constitution in August 2016 to increase the State seats from 60 to 73 about the same time the EC started their redelineation study nationwide.

The study was done and submitted to the Prime Minister where according to the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, clauses 8 -12 require the PM to lay the report before Parliament.

But he did not do it; according to the deputy Prime Minister, Zahid Hamidi, the PM was merely using his discretionary power not to table it.

Is there such a thing?

ZAHID HAMIDI

By so saying, Zahid in effect contended that the PM could over rule any decisions made by the State Assembly?

So, why waste time and money to elect representatives to the State Assembly then, if local representatives elected by the people can be ignored by the PM?

The Federal Constitution is very clear about steps to be followed in this situation; is Zahid saying we are no longer a country ruled by laws?

It can be seen Sabah is not taken seriously as it is believed to be a “safe” state for UMNO.

SHAFIE APDAL.

While opinions differ on whether 60 or 73 seats that should be contested, you don’t have to be a constitutional lawyer to see that problems will definitely crop up on this unless it is sorted out before Parliament is dissolved in order to avoid serious legal complications.

Even Shafie Apdal, the Parti Warisan Sabah chief who was once an UMNO vice president, lamented that it was very sad indeed that the decision made by the Sabah State Assembly was not respected at all.

He said that such is the right of Sabahans and if the PM has chosen to ignore the State’s highest law making body, that what chance had the smaller people whose rights could be trampled on.

Shafie’s main concern is that when the elections are over and Warisan wins, BN could go to court to challenge the victory.

Maybe there is method in this madness.

Machiavelli said politics has no relation to morals.

The way things are going, it looks like he was right after all!

TWO MONTHS SUSPENSION, WITHOUT EVEN A WARNING, IS TOO HARSH A PUNISHMENT JUST FOR DISPLAYING A PARTY FLAG. YOU DON’T HAVE TO USE A SLEDGE HAMMER TO KILL A MOSQUITO

Of course we must leave politics out of work place.

The three ‘malim gunung’ who were suspended for two months for their role in displaying the Parti Warisan Sabah flag. At left is Siriman Basir, who is a former Ranau District Officer who is now Warisan Kundasang coordinator, who has taken up the plight of the trio.

While State Tourism Minister, Masidi Manjun defended the action of Sabah Parks to suspend three mountain guides for flaunting opposition Parti Warisan Sabah flag on top of Mount Kinabalu. Others have a different take on the matter.

They are saying the guides were punished because it was all about an opposition party flag.

Masidi did say the trio would still be suspended regardless of whichever political party flag they showed.

Then, there are pictures of schoolchildren carrying BN flags all over the internet.

Only last year there was much uneasiness about UMNO flags being displayed at a Putrajaya school during a visit there by the Federal Territories Minister.

Double standards. School children in Putrajaya were made to wave the UMNO flag.

The furore was brushed aside and it was explained that the young pupils were taught to appreciate how UMNO had contributed to the country, and the display and the waving of the flags was part of that education.

Should not school kids be encouraged to stay away from partisan politics? They have plenty of time to worry about that later.

So if you are on the side of the government, even if it is not right; it appears you are treated kinder and forgiven easily too.

This was what got the trio into trouble.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, they say.

Is there anything wrong for adults who are voters in displaying publicly their political preference as it is their democratic right?

Natural justice should have come into play in this case.

To suspend them for two months does affect their livelihood – surely all three have families and responsibilities – and it was rather heavy handed.

A letter reminding them not to do it again would have been sufficient taking into account their own ignorance too.

You don’t have to use a sledge hammer to kill a mosquito.

A slap on the wrist was all that was necessary.