PN rejects call for unity govt peace deal

Perikatan Nasional has rejected a call from the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih) for an intercoalition peace deal to ensure political stability in the country.

The “sought-after stability”, it said, should not suppress reforms, including a change of leadership that failed to serve the nation’s best interests.

Pas deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said stability did not lie in the existence of an agreement but in the leadership’s ability to steer the nation with a clear direction and proper planning.

He implied that a change of government was permissible as long as it was done within the boundaries of the law and the democratic system, especially if the administration was unstable.

“The rakyat’s rejection in the state elections was due to their disappointment with what is happening and the unclear direction, particularly over economic issues and the cost of living.

“If the existing government is unstable, of course, the people would want to see a more stable government.

“As long as it is within the legal framework and the democratic system that is the core of the country, everything can happen,” he told the New Straits Times.

Federal Territories PN information chief Mahathir Mohd Rais said it was crucial for the coalition to critically analyse any proposal to differentiate between political manoeuvring and genuine concern for the nation’s welfare.

The peace deal, he added, was rooted in the idea of stability and intended to prevent any party from trying to overthrow another.

However, he said, stability should not come at the cost of stifling genuine political dissent or preventing change if the leadership was not acting in the nation’s best interests.

While he believed that the call from Bersih came from a place of advocacy, he said PN should put the interests of the people they represented first.

“The results of the recent six state elections, where we (PN) secured 146 out of 245 seats, indicate a shift in the electorate’s sentiment and an evident mandate for change.

“It underscores the need for the government to recognise the voice of a significant portion of the populace.”

Bersih has repeatedly called for the unity government and the opposition pact to sign an inter-coalition peace deal to ensure political stability.

The electoral reform group said the agreement would assure not only the public but also domestic and foreign investors that Malaysia could focus on economic rejuvenation.

Unity government representatives were all for the suggestion.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said he hoped the party president would consider bringing the proposal to the supreme council meeting.

He said the proposal should be made the people’s resolution, in which non-governmental organisations take the lead to pressure the main parties — PH-BN and PN — to agree to it.

Puad said the rakyat had made their decision in the past general election, as well as the recently concluded state elections, and that now it was time to give priority to the nation’s stability until the 16th General Election.

“I am sure Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will agree (to the peace agreement). He needs to focus on the economy of the people and the country in this difficult time.

“Hopefully, PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be open to accepting Bersih’s suggestion,” he told the NST.

Puad said PN would require a stable and peaceful environment to allow it room to develop Terengganu, Kelantan and Kedah.

Pakatan Harapan Youth chief Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen shared similar sentiments, adding that Anwar had in the past proposed for the opposition to discuss parameters and even reforms that could help the country move forward as a whole.

“I think if there is a need to have a written understanding or agreement, just like what was signed (previously), a memorandum of understanding or a confidence and supply agreement, this has to be properly discussed.”

He said unity, stability and a focus on economic and public welfare had always been the spirit of PH.

“Even in his speech at the end of the state elections, the PM called for reconciliation and togetherness to rebuild our nation.

“Such reconciliation is important for stability because it results in greater confidence for investors, as well as certainty and consistency in economic policies that are important to building a conducive ecosystem for investors.”

PKR deputy information chief Datuk R. Ramanan, meanwhile, accused the opposition of being more interested in politicking than working with the unity government for the rakyat’s betterment.

“Despite the many offers (from Anwar), they never took them up, instead, they continue to harp on the fact that they want allocations — we want this, we want that.”