Thursday, April 11, 2019

Good Intentions Lost in Parliament

Sometimes, good intentions are not enough. 

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister (left) himself tabled the amendment to the Federal Constitution on the status of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia – to fulfill the demands of the two state governments, who want the position of Sabah and Sarawak under Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to be returned to their position during the formation of Malaysia in 1963  in line with the spirit and intention of the Malaysia Agreement 1963. 

Its passage will require bipartisan support as Pakatan Harapan only command a simple majority in Parliament while changes to the Federal Constitution require the backing of two-thirds of the House. 

But the Pakatan Harapan government failed to obtain the two-thirds majority required. What was needed was 148 ‘ayes’ out of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat. 

Regretfully, they fell short of 10 votes with only 138 supporting the motion. Fifty-nine MPs abstained. The other 25 must have vanished into thin air when the vote was taken. 

PM Mahathir Mohamad had said he did not expect the government's bid to amend the Constitution to fail. I’m really surprised that even Mahathir was optimistic. 

The Opposition fellas – and not just the UMNO and PAS parliamentarians – have no interest in anything other than hanging around in Parliament and barking for the sake of barking. It reminded me of the strays in my neighborhood. 

And those from Sabah and Sarawak who withheld support – they had chosen not to seize this opportunity offered and instead, they turned their backs on their own fellow citizens. 

But Pakatan Harapan are a disappointment too as they didn’t prepare themselves enough to get this constitutional amendment motion approved. 

Yesterday, I was reminded (again) that I shouldn’t fly AirAsia – the legroom was a tight squeeze. The only consolation was that it was a short flight to Medan, Indonesia. 

I am in Indonesia for four days for the Toastmasters’ District 87 Annual Conference, flying in on Wednesday evening via AK393 and returning on April 15. 

I stayed at the Grand Inna Medan Hotel, which is a really nice hotel:

Overall, the service here is impressive:

I also checked out the Conference venue @ Grand Aston City Hall Hotel in Jl.  Balaikota, which is a stone's throw away from where I am staying. There, I had my first beer in Indonesia: 

Me and my beer, a Heineken Draught Beer @ Demitasse Lounge, Grand Aston City Hall Hotel in Medan. It cost me 78,000 rupiahs per glass.

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