Kit Siang Ismail Not A Reformist But I Still Back Mou
Veteran opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said while he has mounting reservations on Ismail Sabri Yaakob's premiership, he is still backing the government's deal with Pakatan Harapan.
Lim said this was because he believed Malaysia has not turned the corner in the war against Covid-19 nearly one month into the new prime minister's tenure.
He noted that over the past week, there were 2,916 reported Covid-19 deaths - the highest of any week so far - and suggested that the situation now is more severe than in Indonesia and India.
"Even the Global Covid-19 Index (GCI) conceived by Pemandu Associates with the support of the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation has given up on Malaysia, placing Malaysia in the rank of 152 out of 180 countries in its update of Sept 16, 2021.
Other issues include Ismail Sabri's failure to seek a vote of confidence in Parliament, for insisting on a "jumbo-sized" cabinet, and nominating Ahmad Maslan as a deputy speaker.
Other issues raised were the election of Ismail Sabri's brother as the chairperson of the National Farmers' Organisation and the dropping of criminal charges against former Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) board member Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid.
Despite all these issues, Lim said Harapan's deal with the government was still necessary because it will lead to a "political moratorium" for 10 to 18 months.
"In this period, Malaysia must devise a new policy and strategy to win the losing war against the Covid-19 pandemic and re-set institutional and parliamentary reforms so that Malaysians can return to the mission to make plural Malaysia a world-class great nation.
"Ismail is not a reformer but if he is forced by political circumstances to be a reformer, he deserves full support - not for anyone's sake but for the sake of the country," said Lim.
On Sept 13, Ismail Sabri, on behalf of the federal government, signed the 'Memorandum of Understanding on Transformation and Political Stability' with Harapan.
In it, the government promises reforms including:
Parliamentary reform (immediate implementation)Lowering the voting agePassing a bill to discourage lawmakers from defectingTerm limits for the prime ministerImproving the nation's Covid-19 responseEnsuring judicial independenceFulfilling the Malaysia Agreement 1963The implementation of these reforms will be monitored by a 10-member, bipartisan steering committee that will meet fortnightly.
On Harapan's part, the coalition promised, with conditions, not to topple Ismail Sabri in Parliament and support his Budget 2022 bill when it is tabled later this year. - Mkini
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