KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — The memorandum of understanding (MoU) affirming the bipartisan cooperation between the government and the Opposition gives Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob the freedom to ignore Umno members who are seeking to bring back to power those from the party who are currently on trial.
The DAP MP for Damansara Tony Pua said Ismail Sabri was under pressure to reinstate former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and current Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“By strengthening his position as the prime minister via the MoU, Ismail Sabri is now in a stronger position to push back any threats and demands by the Umno court cluster and kleptocrats, led by Najib Razak and Zahid Hamidi, who is also Umno president.
“On the other hand, had the MoU not been signed, Ismail’s hand would have been weakened and he would have had to give in to the demands of the kleptocrats.
“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 adviser’ to the prime minister.
“More importantly, Ismail Sabri can no longer be pressured to take steps to influence judicial proceedings or the Attorney General’s office to withdraw charges pending in the court cluster, including Najib and Zahid’s corruption trials,” Pua wrote on his Facebook page tonight.
Pua said with the signing of the MoU comes parliamentary reforms, with clear timetables, in particular the party-hopping Bill, as well as limiting a prime minister’s term to 10 years and a RM45 billion financial allocation to help the economy and Malaysians badly affected by the pandemic.
The Opposition’s demands will also be considered under the new Budget, which Pua called “a fair deal”, as this gives the Opposition the right to vote in favour of the Bills for which it was consulted.
In closing, Pua, who is also DAP’s national publicity secretary, said signing the MoU does not mean Pakatan Harapan (PH) supports the Umno-led administration.
“The MoU just means that the rakyat now will get some peace and stability to deal with Covid-19 and the economy, instead of being perpetually preoccupied with repeated attempts to power grab by any parties who claim to have a strong, formidable and convincing majority.
“We will extract as much benefit for the people, and reforms to improve Malaysia’s democratic institutions, as possible under the MoU while we remain in Opposition.
“But once the Parliament gets dissolved any time after July 2022, PH will fight tooth and nail to have the people’s mandate returned to the rightful parties,” he added.
Dubbed the “Memorandum of Understanding on Political Stability and Transformation”, the signing of the MoU will usher in a period of political stability, allowing both sides of the political divide to work on economic recovery efforts for the greater good.
In a statement today, Ismail Sabri said the bipartisan cooperation — the first in the country’s history — was in line with the royal decree outlined by His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah earlier today where all parties needed to practice “deliberative democracy”.