PETALING JAYA: The date July 31, 2022 in the recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government and Pakatan Harapan should not be viewed as a deadline, said DAP organising secretary Loke Siew Fook, as the government can take additional time to implement the reforms agreed upon if it needs to.
The Seremban MP said the date is merely an agreement with the government that it will not dissolve parliament before this date, but does not imply that all the reforms must be passed before then.
“This is not a 10-month MoU, it can be longer,” he explained in a webinar titled “MoU – A Pathway to Transformation and Stability?” today.
“There is nothing to stop (the government) from dragging it out until the end of their term, and we are okay with it, we have no problem.
“If they say they want more time and they only want to dissolve Parliament when their term ends, we don’t have a problem with that, we are not taking the power to dissolve away from the prime minister.”
However, he said that “given the over 190 MPs among parties to the MoU”, he was confident that parliamentary reforms, including those that required constitutional amendments, could be pushed through efficiently.
“I think (whether we have time) is just a matter of whether we want to do it or not. Look at this MoU, we talked about it for a year and nothing happened, but once we put things in motion, we got it done in three weeks, so it’s all a matter of will.
“We will give our cooperation to the law minister, Wan Junaidi (Tuanku Jaafar), and he is very passionate about these reforms, so I’m sure it can be done.”
In response to questions from Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said about why the MoU was not more comprehensive, Loke said that like in any negotiation, some concessions had to be made to get the deal done.
“If we do not get 100% of what we asked for, do we call off the deal? Our approach was as long as we get the minimum things agreed upon, then we aren’t calling off the deal, we will proceed with it.”
He called the MoU “dynamic” and did not rule out the implementation of reforms that were not explicitly listed in the agreement.
“We have never tried this (set-up) in the past. I think it’s a good start, to have a forum and a platform to try and see how far we can go.
“If we can go further than this MoU, I am sure that this is a dynamic document and more reforms can come in the process.”
By : Imran Ariff -FMT