As Covid cases surge, another call for a unity government

(FMT) – A social scientist formerly with the World Bank has reiterated his call for a unity government to be formed even as the nation prepares itself for a full lockdown after a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Lim Teck Ghee, who made a similar call last year, said a unity government is “achievable” and is urgently needed to deal with Malaysia’s many crises.

It could also prove to be an antidote to the current political polarisation, he said. “It can help correct the country’s current political divide,” he told FMT when asked if a unity government was possible in the current political environment.

“A unity government can’t do any worse than our present government,” he said.

Although the ruling coalition and the opposition would want to lay down their terms before agreeing to form a unity government, he feels the positive considerations will trump such interests.

“The knowledge that everyone, not just the parties and politicians, would end up losers should our political leaders fail to agree on a workable and credible national unity government can help break any deadlock.”

Lim said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can play a pivotal role to ensure a successful and effective unity government.

The unity government should rope in younger political leaders who have proven themselves to be honest and of integrity. They should also be decisive and committed to introducing reforms.

A unity government, if it materialises, should focus on the health, socio-economic and political crises.“That this needs much more effective immediate attention is a no-brainer,” he said.

Last May, Lim wrote that a unity government will require high statesmanship and that such an initiative has worked in the past for countries faced with a national crisis.

The Malaysian Advancement Party has also urged political parties to set aside their differences and support the formation of a unity government.

The party’s president P Waytha Moorthy said the Covid-19 pandemic was akin to waging war and no time should be wasted on politicking.

“There is no more time for party politics as love for our country and its people comes first,” he said.

He urged the prime minister to convince all parties to unite for the sake of the rakyat.

“Once a unity government is formed, the emergency can be ended and Parliament reconvened.”