Dispatch from London – Part 3
January 17, 2019
Good morning, it is 6 am in London. Here is a quick recap of Day 3 of our UK Parliament working visit. We started the day with a tour of the Parliament Achives where we were shown the original Acts for Merdeka and the formation of Malaysia. After that we had a very good meeting with the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs committee.
We were then given a special pass to witness Prime Minister’s Question Time, where Corbyn attacked May on her crushing Brexit defeat. Throughout the day, Parliament dealt with the no confidence vote, with MPs urging May to do the honourable thing and step down as PM. In the no confidence vote last night, she survived with an extremely slim margin of 18 votes! UK has 650 MPs. This is a crystal clear indication that her time as PM is coming to an end as soon as Brexit happens in end of March 2019.
It was an absolute privilege to witness the drama unfold and see how the laws and conventions of UK Parliament are adhered to. The vote upholds the fundamental principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty and emphasises that the PM does not control Parliament, but instead serves Parliament and the people.
At lunch, I sat with Lord Rogan and Hon. Ian Liddell-Grainger. We talked a wide range of subjects including international trade (China) and politics. After lunch we met the Clerk of the Committee at Portcullis House, who explained to us detailed processes of standing committees. This was followed by two more meetings, one with the Principal Clerk of the Table Office and finally the Minister of State for Asia and Pacific, the Rt. Hon Mark Field.
After the last meeting in UK Parliament, we went to Malaysia Hall for an event to meet mostly Malaysian students. I and four other MPs gave a talk and answered questions. I got back to the hotel at 9.30 pm, had a shower, called my wife and kids and had a decent sleep.