Anwar: Ismail Sabri's reforms a good start but no deal yet

·2-min read
Anwar: Ismail Sabri's reforms a good start but no deal yet
Anwar: Ismail Sabri's reforms a good start but no deal yet

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the proposed reforms by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob was a “good start” but added that a deal had yet to be struck.

“It is a good start following the meeting between me, the Pakatan Harapan leadership, and the prime minister on Aug 25.

“However, discussions are still ongoing to find the best common ground to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, protect the lives and safety of people from the pandemic, and to free the people from economic hardship due to loss of income and jobs,” he said in a statement.

Anwar, who is also Harapan chairperson, said the opposition coalition’s priorities are parliamentary reform, fiscal reform, judicial independence, as well as pro-rakyat programmes such as the loan moratorium for the B40 and M40 income earners.

To this end, Anwar reiterated Harapan’s position for a RM45 billion fiscal injection.

The PKR president also stressed the need for Ismail Sabri to confirm his majority in the upcoming Parliament sitting.

“Harapan sees that there is still a need for the prime minister to seek a vote of confidence as soon as possible based on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree during a meeting with the heads of political parties at Istana Negara on Aug 17, in order to legitimise the fact that the prime minister commands majority support in the Dewan Rakyat,” he said.

The government has been hesitant to undergo a confidence vote in Parliament although as of today, its support among 114 out of 220 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat is not disputed even by the opposition.

In trying to avoid a confidence vote, the government claimed that the Agong had changed his position on the matter.

With a slim majority, Ismail Sabri has been in talks with the opposition to offer various institutional reforms in exchange for support in order to ensure political stability.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri announced his proposed reforms, including the tabling of an anti-party-hopping law, expediting the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18, limiting the prime minister’s term to 10 years, as well as equal treatment of opposition MPs on policy engagement and allocations.

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