The Westminster Style Democracy: Would Najib meet Anwar?

Written by Kazi Mahmood,

Part of the Democratic Process is to have the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition (Najib and Anwar here) to meet once a month – This is Westminster style parliamentary democracy. It is practiced in UK, India, Mauritius, and most of the former British colonies.

That would never mean the Leader of the Opposition is betraying his people, party or voters if he was to meet with the PM. The aim of the regular meeting, at the Parliament in a separate chamber or at the Prime Minister's office and at times in the quarters of the of the Leader of the Opposition, was to discuss issues of national and localized interest.

This was also aimed at ensuring that the Parliament is run well and that the opposition has enough time to air its views in the August House. With this, the Opposition has direct access to the big shot who is running the country and it can question the PM on several issues and push their philosophies and ideas to higher levels if need be. It works in many democratic states that practices such principles.

Would Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak meet with Anwar Ibrahim, being the Prime Minister and Opposition Chief respectively? I have heard from some sources that the Prime Minister was once eager to meet with Anwar Ibrahim in order to straighten some issues and to possibly discuss the idea of a Unity Government. I also heard Anwar Ibrahim was altogether willing to discuss these issues with the Prime Minister. Now all these possible meetings did not go through for one reason: The fear of both political sides that this will be seen as a 'softening' of their leadership and the betrayal of their political struggles.