Political stability possible in a year with MoU

It now has ample time to shift its focus to fully manage Covid-19 and set a path for economic recovery, says Mazlan


IT WOULD take a year for the country to reach political stability following the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the government and Pakatan Harapan (PH), as both quarters are now focused on cooperating for the benefit of the people.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia senior lecturer (political study) Dr Mazlan Ali said the MoU will lessen the politicking that the country has endured while battling the pandemic.

As the MoU stated that the government will not put a motion to dissolve the Parliament before July 31, 2022, Mazlan said it now has ample time to shift its focus to fully manage Covid-19 and set a path for economic recovery.

“I believe with less politicking, the country can achieve political stability within a year because both sides have agreed to cooperate and build an understanding through the MoU.

“This means that both sides will work together in matters that involve the interests of the people and the country,” he told The Malaysian Reserve yesterday.

He said with the support from MPs under PH, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration is unlikely to face problems in getting approvals for bills that are put forward in the Dewan Rakyat.

“Any reforms that the government wants to table would be able to achieve a two-third majority and therefore this MoU makes it easier to implement reforms,” he added.

With the MoU, Mazlan did not discount the possibility of a new political coalition ahead of the 15th General Election (GE15) although it largely depends on the outcome of the cooperation.

He said both political blocs may find compatibility as they cooperate based on the inked agreement.

“They may reach a consensus on several aspects which could lead to a new form of agreement.

“It is not impossible that they could form a new coalition for GE15 which will be determined from the outcome of this MoU,” he added.

Both parties have signed an MoU on Monday dubbed as the Political Transformation and Stability MoU, which outlines six key areas that both political blocs will cooperate on.

The six key areas in the MoU include enhancing the Covid-19 plan, administrative transformation, parliamentary reform, judiciary independence, Malaysia Agreement 63 and the formation of a steering committee.

Among the details of the MoU which were made available to the public stated that parliamentary reform must be done immediately which includes a balanced representation from the government and opposition in the parliamentary select committee.

It also stated that the formation of a steering committee which must consist of 10 members whereby five of them are government representatives chosen by the PM while the other five represent the Opposition bloc.

The MoU also stated that both parties will make a three-month exemption for interest payments of the loan moratoriums for the bottom 50% of the population in the fourth quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan (picture) said the MoU is not a cooperation on sharing of power between the government and PH, and it is far from upholding the latter to lead the country.

Instead, the agreement was made to achieve political stability for the time being.

“I believe the Opposition will still play its role to criticise and provide check and balance to the government.

“As for the government, the understanding does not mean it eliminates any differences between the parties nor does it mean sharing of power on any decision.

“The final call on any policy still lies with the government and the opposition understands this,” he said in a statement yesterday.

DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng said the most significant institutional reform under the MoU is the Anti-Hopping Law, as well as the reduction of the voting age to 18 and implementation of the 1964 Malaysia Agreement.

He said DAP is well aware that the MoU signing in the current political climate is “not ideal” especially when it has to deal with a political opponent which he claimed had no commitment towards political reforms.

“However, PH and DAP are willing to try to force them to carry out these reforms and at the same time follow our plans to save lives and livelihoods by leveraging on their fears of losing power by another internal coup from their fragmented government,” said Lim.