Hit by ‘double whammy’ of weak govt, barking opposition

(FMT) – Malaysia needs a fresh general election to get out from under the “double whammy” of a weak government and a weak opposition, says former law minister Zaid Ibrahim.

Although the opposition had been “barking and yelling” on issues such as the government’s poor handling of the recent floods and the controversy surrounding anti-corruption chief Azam Baki, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob knows that the opposition will accept whatever this government does, Zaid said.

As an example of a weak government, Zaid said no reprimand by the prime minister on his ministers is ever done even though “some ministers and advisers with the rank of ministers can get by, talking nonsense every day and still keep their job”.

He made reference to remarks by religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, who is special envoy to the Middle East, and said “nothing will happen to either of them for talking nonsense”.

Zaid said: “Some ministers from key factions appear to be more powerful than the prime minister – that’s how the public view our government,” which he described as being too weak and with “no strength to enforce anything decent.”

As for the opposition, they were “more interested in keeping this government in power, as long as they get a few million ringgit for their constituency development fund,” he said.

“Power to the people is the only way out of this mess. That’s why we need a general election as soon as possible.”

A general election is due in mid-2023 when the term of the current Parliament expires. However, some Umno leaders have campaigned for fresh elections to be held early.

Zaid’s remarks come in the wake of criticism of Pakatan Harapan for its political understanding to keep Ismail’s government afloat until the next general election. The opposition alliance has been accused of compromising on its principles.