As expected, Tony Pua was the first leader who jumped up and down with joy after the signing of government-opposition bipartisan cooperation, as if he had hit the jackpot. The DAP national publicity secretary was incredibly thankful that the Opposition gets the second bite of the cherry. He said the people had missed the boat after rejecting a similar offer from former PM Muhyiddin.
If not for the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Tony might celebrate the cooperation with lion dances and fireworks. He said – “I’m glad that good political sense prevailed and the MOU on ‘Transformation & Political Stability’, which is effectively a confidence, supply and reform agreement (CSA), was signed this afternoon. The biggest winners are the rakyat (people).”
Driven by hatred towards former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who had stolen tens of billions of dollars in the 1MDB scandal, it appears that Tony could not think straight. He was suggesting that it was a mistake that opposition Pakatan Harapan did not grab the last minute offer from Muhyiddin, and as a result allowed United Malays National Organization (UMNO) to take over the government.
Essentially, Tony prefers a traitor (Muhyiddin) to a crook (Najib). He would rather lose an empire than to see a crook escape the jail. Did not the DAP genius realize that both Muhyiddin and Najib were working together last year, plotting and scheming to overthrow the democratically elected Pakatan Harapan government, leading to UMNO in the driver seat today?
If it’s not because of treasonous and treachery Muhyiddin, we don’t have to worry about Najib becoming an economic adviser, let alone having to sign an MOU with corrupt UMNO and losing the government, would we? Therefore, it’s puzzling that a brilliant man like Tony Pua could arrive at a half-baked conclusion that it’s a jolly good idea to rescue Muhyiddin than to see a return of UMNO.
If Muhyiddin was truly wanted to stop the kleptocrats or the crooks like Najib, he would not have had supported Ismail Sabri (or some other UMNO leaders for that matter) as prime minister because doing so would inevitably mean the return of the crooks anyways. But as admitted by Muhyiddin recently, he had to support UMNO because of his lust for power.
The disgraced and failed former premier said if his party Bersatu did not support UMNO, Pakatan Harapan will return to power. More importantly, Bersatu will become the opposition and his minions would not become ministers, deputy ministers or chairmen. Clearly, Muhyiddin’s priority has always been power and positions, never about stopping crooks.
Besides, how sure is Mr Pua that the untrustworthy Mr Muhyiddin would honour the agreement for reforms? Exactly how does the Opposition plan to explain to the people why they support an incompetent regime that had killed close to 13,000 people due to Covid-19 mishandling, not to mention unemployment and underemployment as a result of economic mismanagement?
Tony also happily announced that armed with the MOU, “turtle egg” Prime Minister Ismail Sabri can no longer fear any threats and demands by the UMNO Court Cluster and kleptocrats, led by Najib Razak and UMNO president Zahid Hamidi. Likewise, Tony believed that the PM does not need to entertain any demands from the Azmin Ali faction to be appointed as Deputy Prime Minister.
However, two days after the so-called historic signing of bipartisan cooperation between the government and Pakatan Harapan, confusion has already arisen whether it was actually an MOU (memorandum of understanding) or CSA (confidence and supply agreement). The confusion had forced Opposition de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim today to clarify that it was an MOU, not CSA.
But if it was an MOU, a non-binding contract, how could Tony Pua say PM Sabri can safely ignore any threats or blackmails from Najib, Zahid or Azmin? Without any guarantee of support from Pakatan’s 89 votes, do you really think the turtle-egg man would be so courageous to reject allies (Azmin and Muhyiddin), let alone his own party’s leaders (Najib and Zahid)?
In the same breath, PKR president Anwar told all and sundry in Parliament today that he disagreed with the government’s move not to hold a confidence vote. This is another drama of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Why didn’t he say so immediately after the MOU signing ceremony or before the Agong’s (King) Royal Address during the opening of the Parliament?
Whether it was a cheap drama staged by the government and opposition, or that Pakatan Harapan has been played again, PM Sabri has successfully avoided a confidence vote without lifting a finger. It doesn’t look good that Anwar has to struggle to debunk claims that the agreement was a compromise that would neutralize the Opposition’s check-and-balance role.
Most have also missed the crucial part of the MOU/CSA – the opposition can only support or abstain, but cannot “reject” the Budget 2022 as well as any other bills the Govt intends to table in Parliament. Even if Pakatan Harapan has been consulted, why can’t a horrible bill like a racist, extreme or discrimination bill be rejected, but can either be supported or abstained only?
For example, if Taliban of PAS Islamist party wanted to forcefully implement laws to restrict or control the development of the non-Muslim religions, the opposition can only support or abstain. Imagine if there are some voices eager to reject the bill, only to see Pakatan Harapan’s 89 MPs keep quiet because the most they can do is abstain, which is equivalent to stay neutral.
Can you see how ridiculous and comical it is for the Opposition to agree to this condition of the MOU or CSA, whatever they like to call it? The cunning UMNO government can always consult and negotiate with the Opposition on any bills, bad or good, knowing in advance they cannot vote against the bill, creating a perception of a lame duck Pakatan Harapan.
To ensure his survival, PM Ismail has also made Pakatan Harapan agree that Malaysia will not face the next 15th General Election before August 2022. Does that mean no matter how the government screws up or plunders the national coffers for the next 12 months, the people have to tolerate yet another failed and corrupt administration?
To make matters worse, the reforms, supposedly including Bills for limiting the PM’s term (10 years), anti-hopping and the new voting age of 18, will only go through Parliament in the first half of next year. The burning question is – what is there to stop the corrupt and cunning UMNO government from throwing away or rejecting all those reforms by the middle of 2022?
Would not that make Pakatan Harapan look incredibly silly and dumb in supporting a government that has been lying for almost a year? After all, according to the MOU, the government will do its best (not compulsory) to fulfil each transformation proposal. So far, the Ismail government has not shown any signs that it has changed for the better.
Malaysian mothers who have won a High Court’s recognition of their children as Malaysian citizens continue to be bullied and intimidated by the government, who filed an appeal against the landmark court decision. Only a cruel regime would try to reverse the court’s decision, which says the Federal Constitution’s citizenship provisions should not discriminate against Malaysian mothers.
The Home Minister continues to abuse power, issuing RM3,000 compounds to Opposition MPs who attempted to march from Dataran Merdeka to Parliament on August 2 because police were ordered to block the August House to prevent then-PM Muhyiddin from being toppled in a confidence vote. The compound could disqualify all the Opposition MPs from contesting in the next election.
And despite the super bloated 73 ministers and deputy ministers, almost all of them went missing in the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) today when Anwar was debating on the health and economic crises. The Opposition is dealing with a corrupt government who had no history of recognition, let alone commitment, towards political reforms. UMNO just wanted power for the next 12 months unchallenged.