KSI calls for bipartisanship to overcome pandemic, save lives

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MEMBERS of Parliament (MPs) on both sides of the House are urged to prioritise the people and the nation, and put aside political divide and rivalry to ensure combined efforts and resources to win the war against Covid-19.

In an open letter yesterday, the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific said MPs should be true wakil rakyat (representative of the people) and not just representative of the party, prioritising the nation and people above party interests.

“We need more than ever a bipartisan approach to save lives and livelihood.

“In this regard, we propose the Parliament should establish a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on National Recovery, so that MPs from both sides can be involved in efforts to overcome the pandemic and save lives and livelihoods,” the letter signed by KSI president Tan Sri Michael Yeoh and advisor Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew stated.

The proposal can be similar to the successful APPG on the Sustainable Development Goals which has members from both the government and Opposition parties working together.

KSI has welcomed the Parliament session from July 26 to Aug 2 and thanked His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for calling for Parliament to meet, as well as Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for fixing the dates for the special session.

KSI believes that the special session of Parliament will be essential to ensure good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability, adding that it hopes MPs will focus on the 3Rs in the upcoming session — Recovery, Reconciliation, Rebuilding.

“We also wish to call for the establishment of a new National Consultative Council on National Recovery to be set up with representatives from the government, Opposition parties, civil society organisations, business and industry associations, think tanks and academics to focus on how we can build back better for the nation,” it said.

KSI noted the recent People’s Protection and Economic Recovery Package, or Pemulih, and the scaling up of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme which has now reached 250,000 doses per day.

In addition, KSI said it hopes the government will also take into account views and suggestions from the Opposition, private sector, NGOs and think tanks, so all quarters can be united in this singular objective of winning the war against coronavirus and reset the nation on a path of sustained recovery, peace and unity.