Malaysia’s PM’s reform initiatives a good start to cross-party cooperation: Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar Ibrahim spent almost a decade in jail after being convicted of sodomising a young male aide, allegations that supporters say were aimed at ruining his political career. (Photo: AFP/Roslan RAHMAN). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 11, 2021, Malay Mail. Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today welcomed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s seven parliamentary and governance reform measures, Malay Mail reported.

He said the initiatives were in line with what Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders discussed with the PM on August 25 and showed promise to cross-party cooperation.

“I welcome the prime minister’s statement yesterday on the government’s efforts to implement a number of improvements for Parliament and the government administration.

“This is a good start following my meeting with the Pakatan Harapan leadership with the prime minister on August 25,” the PKR president said in a statement on Facebook.

Anwar also said that discussions are ongoing between both sides for the best way forward in the nation’s war against the Covid-19 crisis.

He said that among the measures the Opposition PH coalition would like the government to undertake is an injection of RM45 billion as financial relief for Malaysians.

“Pakatan Harapan’s priorities must be based on parliamentary reform, fiscal reform and pro-people programmes including a moratorium on bank loans for the M40 and B40, and the independence of the judiciary,” he added.

The M40 refers to Malaysia’s 40 per cent middle-income group while B40 refers to the bottom 40 per cent of wage earners. Many of these two groups live in debt and anxiety due to borrowings for education, housing and to start small or medium businesses despite a current freeze on the repayment of their loans.

The Port Dickson MP also maintained that Ismail Sabri should table a confidence vote in Parliament “as soon as possible”.

“In the confidence motion against the prime minister, Pakatan Harapan still sees a necessity for it to be tabled as soon as possible in the coming Parliament sitting, based on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree during an audience with political party leaders on August 17 to affirm that the prime minister has the majority of Dewan Rakyat members,” he said.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced his intention to table several laws in the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting that he said would transform Parliament and the running of the government.

His seven promises were to enact an anti-party hopping law, limit the prime minister’s term to 10 years, provide the Opposition leader the same emolument and resources as a minister, set an equal number of Opposition members in Parliamentary Select Committees, bipartisan negotiation on Bills, involve Opposition members in the National Recovery Council, and amend the Constitution to allow 18-year-olds to vote.

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