We can't afford another election — Winston Robertson

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OCTOBER 28 — I watched with interest as the government of the day pushed for a declaration of a state of emergency. Many say this was done to avoid a vote of no confidence, others view this as a requirement in order to reduce the recent politicking and horse trading (I would rather call it katak trading) between politicians so that the country can focus on tackling the current covid crisis.

The reality is that it does not matter right now as SMEs and daily traders are already hanging by a thread. The last thing on their minds now is who is in power and what they represent but more who is going to pass this budget and get us out of this mess.

According to SME corp, SMEs make up 98.5 per cent of the businesses in Malaysia, they employ an 7.4 million Malaysians. With the loan memorandum gone, many SME business owners have resorted to cutting salaries and costs across their business, delaying the payment of EPF and as a last resort firing staff to face the Covid storm on their own.

Many if not all SME owners right now are not paying themselves salaries and are pouring savings to keep their businesses afloat. Some have simply given up and closed down as they see no near end in sight.

Many of these staff have been with their employers for many years and are finding trouble finding jobs. We all have friends among us who are desperately looking for jobs.

The reality is we have been failed by our politics. If the measures taken are strict, many of us practice our national hobby and complain, if the measures government.

The Agong also highlighted the importance of the upcoming budget 2021 that is essential to provide funds to heal the country’s economy whilst ensuring sufficient funds for frontliners to carry out their duties.

The Budget debate is expected to be a fire storm, politicians across the board will use this to further their own political ambitions for power.

We have already seen in the last 48 hours, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and DAP support Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim’s push for power only to embarassingly U-turn by throwing ultimatums at each other. We have seen Zahid swap support for the PN government for the Anwar-led coalition only to go back and forth between support for both in a matter of hours.

If a vote of no confidence is carried out, it goes against the Sultans' wishes, if it does pass, the question is how long will this last for? Will the next government survive another vote of no confidence? And if the Sultan does not feel that the new prime minister carries the majority, does he not have to call for an election? Can we even afford an election right now?

While this is allowed in a parliamentary democracy, it is neither the time or the place for this. Rome is burning and our leaders are more concerned with jostling for power and katak trading rather than focusing on what’s key to us all right now.

Our jobs, our economy, the stability of the country and providing our frontliners with the funds and support they require to carry out their job effectively.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer(s) or organisation(s) and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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