Govt, Opposition to sign MoU for political stability, fight Covid-19, economic crisis

File photo of Malaysian Parliament

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 – The government and the strongest Opposition bloc in the Malaysian Parliament are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding this evening aimed towards political stability and the unity needed to fight the Covid-19 crisis and recover the country’s economy.

A joint statement issued late Sunday evening by the government and the opposition said the MoU will be signed at the Parliament Monday evening.

The finalisation of the MoU on Transformation and Political Stability, which is expected to be fully disclosed to the public, came after several rounds of meetings between the two parties that included ministers from the government and Pakatan Harapan leaders.

According to the statement, focus will be given to various transformation and reform initiatives on governance, particularly on strengthening the role of parliamentary institutions.

In an earlier statement Sunday, DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng cited the Covid-19 crisis and the drastically weakened economy as the basis for signing the MoU, and that only by the whole of society approach can the crises be overcome.

In short, a war mentality that DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang had been advocating long before former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin offered a deal to the Opposition in exchange for a vote of confidence in him in the Parliament.

On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced seven steps the government will take towards a new political landscape.

These included parliamentary transformation and governance reform, limiting the tenure of prime minister to 10 years, tabling of an anti-party hopping bill, implementation of Undi18, and ministerial status to the opposition leader and the inclusion of opposition MPs in Special Parliamentary Committees.

Prior to the finalisation of the MoU, the opposition also made several conditions.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had earlier called for the vote of confidence on the new prime minister to go on in spite of any agreement.

The opposition had also requested for an additional allocation of RM45 billion to the Covid-19 budget set up to help the people in the wake of the devastations that the Covid-19 has brought to the people and the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, several leaders have also voiced their skepticism about the confidence and supply agreement that was being negotiated earlier including Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy who had questioned if such a complicated agreement should be rushed into.

The details of the MoU on Transformation and Political Stability are expected to be made available to the public in line with the government’s commitment to ensure transparency and credibility, the statement said.