Anwar on new deal with govt: It’s an MOU, not a CSA

He tells why Harapan rejected similar offer by Muhyiddin.

PARLIAMENT | Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (Harapan–Port Dickson) stressed that their newly-inked agreement with the government led by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and not a confidence and supply agreement (CSA).

He also said the reason why Pakatan Harapan had rejected a similar offer to work together with former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin (Bersatu–Pagoh) was because the latter wanted a CSA.

“There were some fundamental differences. What Pagoh had offered was a form of CSA where we had to support and legitimise the government.

“This understanding (with Ismail Sabri’s administration) stresses our role as the opposition and we can reject if there were no further negotiations,” Anwar said during his speech in the Dewan Rakyat today (Sept 14).

He said under the Westminster parliamentary democracy, a CSA will not only legitimise the government but also require a guarantee of confidence for the government as well as support for the budget.

“That does not happen with this cooperation,” Anwar said.

There is also no condition in the MOU where Harapan must support Ismail Sabri in the event of a vote of confidence, he added.

Issue of legitimacy

Anwar also said Harapan does not agree that there is no more need for a vote of confidence.

However, he said they do not want the issue of legitimacy to overshadow the efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic, which should take priority.

“So, even though we do not agree not to continue with the vote of confidence, we still cooperated to discuss about the memorandum,” he said.

Anwar proceeded to read out the contents of the MOU, which was signed by representatives from the federal government and Harapan on Monday.

The MOU document has since been made public on the Parliament website.

In the document, the government promises a slew of reforms within a time frame, as well as not to dissolve Parliament before July 31, 2022.

In return, Harapan promised not to use its votes to oust Ismail Sabri nor block Budget 2022 as long as the reforms are on schedule and they are consulted on the Budget Bill.

However, Harapan said it would continue to play the role of opposition, except in the abovementioned circumstances.


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