Pakatan comms chiefs say fighting corruption still central agenda even with BN aboard ‘unity government’

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) remains committed to fighting corruption and even though the coalition agreed to work with Barisan Nasional (BN) to form a new federal government, the communications heads of two component parties asserted.

The PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said the cooperation with BN is on the basis of restoring Malaysia’s economy as well as improving governance and interracial and interreligious relations to stop extremism from spreading, Utusan Malaysia reported today.

“Once the election is over, the responsibility to build the country comes because we understand the big problems faced in the economic and social aspects. So, we must put aside our differences, uphold the royal order and find a way to work together despite different political views.

“Even though we work together, PH will not give up on the principles of good governance and fighting corruption. We see some issues left by the previous administration such as the economy and relations between races that need to be improved. So, this is the agenda of the unity government,” Fahmi was quoted saying.

While BN has very different political beliefs, the 41-year-old who retained his Lembah Pantai federal seat told the newspaper that PH did not have many options since it failed to win a simple majority in the 15th general election that ended in a deadlock with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.

“The positive is the openness of BN, especially Umno, to restore the country together after this. So, this is one form of reform,” he was quoted as saying.

BN is linked to the “court cluster” which saw several of its leaders charged in court on charges of corruption, breach of trust and abuse of power.

Among its leaders who have been charged or are facing trial are Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who returned as Bagan Datuk MP albeit with a much reduced vote margin and Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin who also won back the Kinabatangan federal seat.

Former leader Datuk Seri Najib Razak who has been jailed for stealing RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd remains on trial for several other charges related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal.

Parti Amanah Negara communications director Khalid Samad told the Malay newspaper that the cooperation between PH and BN has managed to thwart the polarising PN from leading the government.

“Now we are together on the basis of agreeing against religious extremists brought by PN.

“That's why BN is more willing to cooperate where we bring the agenda of clean governance, free of corruption and racial issues. Even BN has realised and repented. Right now there will be a bigger threat, namely politics of slander, infighting, religious extremism by PN.

“It is true that PH and BN have ‘attacked’ each other before, but until when do they want to attack? Right now the attacks have brought results to PH with BN only having 30 seats which shows that the people reject the culture of money politics and kleptocracy,” Khalid was quoted as saying.