LETTER | Let’s have political ceasefire, unity cabinet

Hafiz Hassan


LETTER | Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said has called for a political ceasefire. And it’s timely.

There has to be one given that the country is at war. Yes, the country is at war. Azalina herself has said it.

Even the United Nations (UN) chief has called out that “we are at war” against Covid-19. 

As such, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the application of “wartime logic” to fight the pandemic.

A wartime logic means it is also only logical that a wartime cabinet be set up.

For that to happen, first, a political ceasefire. 

Second, cabinet members’ resignation en masse

The ministers and their deputies can do more than giving their three months’ worth of their salaries for the war against Covid-19.

When the 70-member cabinet – reportedly the largest cabinet in Malaysia’s history consisting of the prime minister, four senior ministers, 27 other cabinet ministers and 38 deputy ministers – was sworn in on March 10 last year, it was coined as a “cabinet that delivers”. The jury is out whether this cabinet has delivered.

Lastly, a war cabinet. 

In a parliamentary form of government, the cabinet plays a pivotal role. It is the sole executive body responsible to run the administration of the country. 

The cabinet is responsible for framing the policies and programmes to administer the affairs of the country.

When a country is at war and the cabinet is a 70-member executive arm of the government, it is simply too large and cumbersome to execute war efforts.

The country needs a war cabinet that is small. Importantly, that is a unity cabinet.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.