Second bite of the cherry, less sweet but still good — Tony Pua

With the MOU signed, we hope that Ismail Sabri will no longer have to heed the reported demands to appoint Najib Razak as the ‘economic advisor’ to the PM. 

(The Edge Markets) – We missed the boat with Muhyiddin. And as a consequence, allowed UMNO to take over PM-ship.

Thankfully, we have the second bite of the cherry, albeit one which isn’t as sweet, with Ismail Sabri.

I’m glad that good political sense prevailed and the MOU on ‘Transformation & Political Stability’, which is effectively a confidence, supply and reform agreement, was signed this afternoon.

The biggest winners are the rakyat. We succeeded in convincing the new PM to implement much needed landmark reforms. These reforms come attached with a clear time-table of implementation, to be completed by the first sitting of next year (2022).

Sdr Kit Siang first moved a private member’s bill for a Anti-Hopping Act on 21 March 1978 to protect the integrity of the Parliament. More than 40 years later, and after Langkah Sheraton made a complete mockery of the 2018 people’s mandate, we will finally see such an Act passed in the House to end the shameful practice of political frogs.

Other reforms and policies are no less important – limiting the term of a PM to 10 years, a raft of major parliamentary reforms that will grant the Parliament some real teeth, a RM45 billion financial allocation to assist Malaysians and businesses fight COVID-19 and rescue the economy and the implementation of UNDI 18.

With a razor thin majority, the Ismail Sabri govt has also decided to adopt a less adversarial approach with the Opposition role in Parliament.  In the past, even with the Muhyiddin govt, it was always a ‘winners take all’ position for the Govt, despite his tenuous hold on govt.

Now, the Opposition’s demands will be considered and incorporated into the Budget as well as any other bills the Govt intends to table in Parliament. This is in exchange for the Opposition to either support, or abstain from a vote on the respective bills, which can only be construed as a fair deal. If we are consulted and our key asks are included in the Budget, it will not be fair for us to ‘object’.

Similarly, if the consultation fails to take place and the views are not incorporated, the Opposition will be free to vote against the relevant bills.

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