Upko president says goal of wresting power has not united pact, but split it
KUALA LUMPUR – The opposition should form a shadow cabinet to produce better policies instead of chasing numbers, said United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
In a statement today, he said Pakatan Harapan Plus should remake itself, from being “numbers oriented” to “policy oriented”, next year.
“A shadow cabinet must be formed immediately to offer Malaysians concrete policy ideas on the pandemic, economy, sustainable development, technological advancements, national reconciliation and institutional reforms.
“PH Plus must boldly admit its core strategic mistake since February – focusing on recapturing federal power with defections.
“This has prevented PH Plus from both refining and building on its policy agenda in its 22 months in Putrajaya, and capitalising a talent pool of 20 ministers and 19 deputy ministers, and many others who served as ministers during Barisan Nasional’s time.
“Worse, as the Malay proverb goes, ‘yang dikejar tak dapat, yang dikendong berciciran’ (what is pursued is not attained, what is in hand, is lost).
“The goal of recapturing power did not unite PH, but split the coalition. Our top leaders fight over who should be the next prime minister before it is within grasp.”
He said the focus on recapturing power has allowed Perikatan Nasional and BN propagandists to paint PH as power-crazy, concealing the infighting in their own pacts.
“This has greatly hurt many PH Plus supporters. If PH Plus does not change, these voters may just stay home during GE15.
“I welcome and support the candid call by both Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for PH to stop wasting time on opportunistic government backbenchers.
“When resetting PH Plus, we need the resolve to stay in the opposition before GE15, and strive to be the most competent and trustworthy opposition Malaysians have ever seen, such that they will trust us to manage the country after GE15.”
He said the opposition could have convinced Malaysians about how the country could be better run had PH Plus produced a shadow budget, as what the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat, as well as PH, did from 2011 to 2017.
“I call upon (opposition leader Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim and top leaders of PH Plus parties to sit down and start the discussion on a shadow cabinet, and greet Malaysians on January 1.”
Madius proposed that the shadow cabinet:
(a) be diverse and inclusive in terms of ethno-religious communities, region, gender, age and parties;
(b) meet weekly – online, if not in person – as a real cabinet, so that all PH Plus parties can have coordinated positions on national issues;
(c) have quarterly or even monthly meetings with the menteris besar and chief minister of Selangor, Penang and Negri Sembilan, and shadow MBs/CMs in other states;
(d) groom PH backbenchers to develop their portfolio focus, as a preparation for the next generation of ministers;
(e) prepare PH Plus’ shadow budget six months before the next Budget announcement, and involve stakeholders and ordinary citizens;
(f) be assisted by a network of technocrats and experts to help formulate and fine-tune policies; and,
(g) excite Malaysians by showing how politics can be professional, competent and respectable, at least on one side of the divide.