KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Unlike Pakatan Harapan, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) will not sign any cooperation agreement with the Ismail Sabri administration.

Pejuang chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his Opposition party believes it should be free to check and balance the government and indicated that signing any deal may hamper it from doing so, The Malaysian Insight reported today.

“Pejuang has made a decision not to get involved [with the government]. We will be independent and continue to be the Opposition.

“We believe there should be freedom for the Opposition to keep the government in check,” he was quoted as saying in Langkawi.

The Langkawi MP reportedly claimed that there may be an element of bribery in signing such a deal.

“Unless we have a unity government then it [MoU] is not an agreement. It seems that if we take part [in the MoU] then in return we get something.

“It is not right because it seems there are some elements of bribery there,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying.

The PH coalition inked a historic cross-party Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to cooperate with the government to carry out institutional reform in a bid to prevent further political instability as the nation recovers from the socio-economic Covid-19 crises.

The former two-time prime minister was responding to DAP MP Lim Kit Siang’s call for other Opposition parties to undertake a similar MoU.

“We are not tied up with any party. We can have discussions with them [other party]. But it’s not necessarily that we have to tie ourselves to them,” Dr Mahathir was quoted saying.

Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has also criticised PH leaders for agreeing to cooperate with the Ismail Sabri administration.

The Semporna MP told his fellow Opposition lawmakers in Parliament three days ago that they had been elected to federal power in GE14, but had their mandate “stolen” from them.