LETTER | The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Transformation and Political Stability signed yesterday between the federal government and Pakatan Harapan has been dubbed a 'resounding victory' for Harapan and the rakyat as the coalition has practically leveraged its position to bring forward necessary and lasting reforms for our country.
Furthermore, the MOU would finally initiate a unified, whole-of-society approach in our nation’s fight against Covid-19 and its adverse effect on the rakyat’s lives and livelihoods.
The reform deal is also in line with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree for a bipartisan cooperation between the government and the opposition in order to return political stability to Malaysia so as to steer our nation out of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on our economy.
The MOU clearly puts Harapan at an advantage as Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government is now dependant on the conditional promise by Harapan to not oust him as prime minister nor would Budget 2022 be blocked in Parliament.
A dissolution of Parliament would also not be pursued up until July 31, 2022 - a clear victory for the people that want political stability but do not want to participate in a general election until the Covid-19 is under control.
Given that the MOU includes several imperative reforms that are beneficial for the rakyat, the agreement also shows Harapan’s sincerity in fighting for the rakyat’s cause.
Despite being in a position to 'blackmail’ for positions or other forms of gratification, the coalition instead called for reforms and initiatives that are beneficial for all Malaysians.
Here are five reasons as to why the MOU favours Harapan, and more importantly, the rakyat:
1. It will launch major progressive reforms for Malaysia.
The MOU includes reforms that would ensure political stability in our country such as the anti-party-hopping law which would prevent the infamous Sheraton Move in February 2020 from ever be replicated again.
At long last, the sanctity of the rakyat’s mandate shall forever be preserved, kept away from the tainted hands of traitors and opportunists.
Besides that, several parliamentary reforms have also been agreed upon in order to empower the legislative arm to provide proper check and balance to the executive. These include a reform on the composition of the Parliamentary Select Committees which would make it more balanced when it comes to drafting and approving laws.
The MOU would also safeguard the independence of our judiciary and would will prevent any hidden hands from tempering with our justice system.
Moreover, the MOU also agrees to re-visit Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and reinstate the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as prescribed by MA63.
Other reforms include the implementation of Undi18 and automatic voters registration to ensure eligible Malaysians are not being denied their birthright of being allowed to vote in the next general election.
2. The federal government is now forced to listen to demands by the opposition.
The MOU is essentially a Confidence and Supply Reform Agreement (CSRA), meaning that the federal government is now dependant on opposition’s support.
Therefore, all future bills tabled in Parliament must include views and insights from the opposition.
Hence, the government must consult with the opposition before the tabling of any bills, including Budget 2022, which is a victory for the rakyat as Harapan would ensure the voices and demands of the rakyat would be heard and implemented in each bill.
Therefore, this MOU would put the opposition at an advantage because if the government doesn't adhere to the demands, the bills would be objected and conversely, if the demands are followed, the opposition would be supporting or abstaining during the voting process in Parliament.
For Budget 2022 in particular, this MOU would ensure only the most refined and thorough version of Budget 2022 covering all of the rakyat’s demands would be put through in Parliament.
3. The MOU would be void if the government fails to deliver the agreed reforms in a set timeline.
The agreement further puts the opposition at an advantage by setting a specified timeline for the agreed reforms to be fulfilled by the government.
If the government fails to do so, the agreement would be void and the conditional support would cease to be.
This condition thus would ease concerns that the promises in the MOU by the federal government are mere empty promises as the onus is on them to deliver the agreed reforms or risk crumbling.
4. The MOU would ensure our country can fully focus on fighting Covid-19 and reviving the economy.
Another condition of the MOU is an agreement that Parliament would not be dissolved before July 31, 2022, thus allowing Malaysia to focus on winning the war against Covid-19 and reviving our economy that has been heavily affected by the pandemic.
Furthermore, the MOU also strengthens the Covid-19 plan with proper approaches in dealing with the pandemic that are based on science and data, including the implementation of the ‘Find, Test, Trace, Isolate, Support and Vaccinate’ (FTTIS + V) strategy and the roping in of the private sector to deal with the pandemic, in line with a ‘whole-of-nation’ approach.
5. The kleptocrats and traitors no longer have power over Ismail Sabri.
With majority support virtually guaranteed should the MOU be delivered on his end, Ismail Sabri now no longer has to entertain demands by the ‘court cluster’ faction of his party.
No longer shall dubious leaders with pending court cases escape due justice or worse, being bestowed with powerful positions.
The same rings true for traitors of the people’s mandate who, for far too long, have been leveraging their cunning treachery for personal gratification.
Truly, this MOU is a masterstroke by Harapan to make the best of the current situation. Sure, Harapan is still not the government but through this MoU, it is by far the strongest ever opposition in the history of Malaysia and has done what no Malaysian government has ever done - enact reforms that have a positive, permanent impact on our nation.
A major victory for all Malaysians!
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.