KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — DAP lawmakers Tony Pua and Ong Kian Ming have found themselves in hot water for their stance on the cross-party reform proposal made by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government in exchange for bipartisan support.
In a report by The Star, DAP central executive committee member Ronnie Liu described the stand taken by the Damansara and Bangi MPs — who were ready to talk to the PN government — as “suspicious”.
Ronnie said that their stance has angered the people who were upset with the failures of the PN government, especially in their management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that their stand was also in contradiction with that of Pakatan Harapan, who rejected the offer given by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, adding that the duo must withdraw their statements.
“Otherwise, there will be an impression that there is an ‘unseen hand’ behind them. Something that is not ‘natural’ and not right,” he said.
The Star also quoted a source who said that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had given his blessings to a team of three DAP lawmakers including Ong, Pua and Seremban MP Anthony Loke to negotiate the proposals with PN for the seven cross-party reforms before the prime minister announced them on August 12.
Sin Chew Daily also named Liew Chin Tong as being involved in the discussions in an exclusive exposé.
“Muhyiddin said as they had come to the negotiation table and we had come to an agreement, there was no need to bind them in any form, but to take their word that they will give their bipartisan vote en bloc in Parliament in exchange for the reforms which they have long sought for,” the source told The Star.
The source added that there had been more than five meetings between the DAP team and PN, and that Muhyiddin’s camp had reached out to all Opposition leaders, but only DAP was willing to conduct discussions.
On August 12, Muhyiddin said he will be negotiating with leaders from parties outside the Perikatan Nasional coalition to garner their support for the motion of confidence vote on the his position in the upcoming Parliament session, with promises of significant reforms, including limiting the prime minister's tenure to two terms, to solve the ongoing Malaysian political crisis.