Yes, we suppose so. Some politicians will also condemn such an idea as crazy because it would not benefit them, their political parties, or help in their quest for power. They would reason that such a situation would only bring chaos to our nation.
Correctly said, because these politicians have been in power for decades and yet they are yet to show any maturity in matters of governing this nation.
A hung parliament is a situation where no political party or coalition of political parties from both ruling and opposition blocs obtain any absolute majority in number of seats in the parliament after a general election.
The ruling party or coalition may gain just a sufficient number of seats, or it may be called simple or narrow majority, while the opposition party or coalition may have increased its parliamentary seats but is unable to form a government because it lacks the simple majority required.
In simple definition, the ruling party or coalition does not have overall control of the parliament while the opposition would regard such a situation as a balanced parliament, thus benefiting it in terms of higher bargaining power when it comes to debating any issues, bills or tabling of motions.
Because of the current political situation in Malaysia, we are of the opinion that a hung parliament would be the best solution to stir our nation’s political parties in parliament to act with maturity and work harder for our people and the nation.
A hung parliament will pressure both sides of the political divide to come up with policies and alternative policies that are beneficial instead of politicking intensely and unnecessarily.
The lack of majority in parliament means the ruling party or coalition will have to be prepared to make greater concessions on policymaking, spending and control of the agenda with the opposition bench.
In this case, in order to be more convincing, the ruling party or coalition must strive harder to promote efficiency and openness in its governance by emphasising competence, transparency and accountability in its day-to-day administration to satisfy the public.
This will also stop the government from denying the various weaknesses and stirring up racial and religious issues to divert attention from the real issues.
A hung parliament would also force the ruling party or coalition to be more serious about tackling corruption, power abuse and mismanagement in the government in order to regain public confidence.
It will stop them from using laws to cover up such wrongdoings when they are exposed.
Apart from this, in a hung parliament, elected representatives from the ruling party would have to set their party and personal interests aside to work harder in the interest of the people, and also learn to work closely and professionally with their opposition counterparts to advance common goals and objectives for the betterment of our nation’s growth.
If politicians from the ruling party or coalition are mature enough in this situation, they could achieve good governance that will increase their reputation.
Opposition must act responsibly
In a hung parliament, the opposition elected representatives' responsibilities will increase. Instead of trying hard to bring down the minority government, the opposition must strive hard to ensure efficient checks and balances on the government of the day.
In this situation, the opposition could also push for a broader parliamentary reform, seek recognition for the institution of a shadow cabinet, to establish parliamentary oversight committees to scrutinise every aspect of every government ministry and to regain their rights to receive the annual constituency allocations.
Besides that, the opposition will also work harder to promote and present their alternative policies, provide checks on the government framework and spending, and debating various issues in order to pressure the ruling party to change or amend their framework for the benefit our people and the nation.
The absence of an overwhelming ruling party or coalition majority in the parliament does not imply an opposition majority as well. The opposition parties, currently working in a loose coalition framework, may also find it a bit difficult to unite against the government.
They may have policy or ideological differences and therefore, they too are more likely to strike bilateral deals.
A stronger parliament
Without a majority ruling party or coalition in the government seat, the parliament becomes the most important institution and thus powerful. The legislative process becomes more uncertain, but it is more inclusive.
In a hung parliament, bills may take longer to be passed as a stronger parliament will see active debates and heavy amendments to bills before they could be put to voting.
In today’s scenario, the ruling party or coalition with an absolute majority in the parliament will normally bulldoze all its bills through via simple hand-raise-vote with limited reviews, debates and no amendments.
A hung parliament will also pressure the Speaker to ensure all procedural aspects are adhered to, such as the importance of having votes via secret ballots, allowing longer time for scrutiny and debates over bills, motions, instituting inner reforms and to provide more democratic avenues in the legislative process.
In this situation the prospects of parliamentary reforms too are brighter, given the fact that the stronger opposition presence and a weaker ruling party or coalition could see both parties coming to a consensual mode more often in order to put things to order.
Lastly, how a hung parliament is dealt with depends on the maturity of our elected representatives.
Only political parties, politicians or elected representatives who are immature and self-centred would exaggerate the perils of a hung parliament by creating fear and worry among our people. This is because they are simply afraid of losing power and are acting out of personal interests.