Opposition cautiously optimistic about govt-Pakatan MoU progress

8 out of 18 reforms have been realised exactly 1 month after signing of document

KUALA LUMPUR –: Opposition leaders are praising the progress made by the government in implementing reforms outlined in the month-old memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Pakatan Harapan (PH).

It has been exactly a month after the signing of the historic document yesterday, and eight of the 18 items have been realised.

But while hopeful about what is in store for the future, several PH MPs have expressed reservations about the implementation of several reform promises that have yet to make any headway.

Opposition cautiously optimistic about govt-Pakatan MoU progress
Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub of Amanah says that Pakatan will continue pushing for the 10 remaining reforms, particularly those on parliamentary transformation. – Bernama pic, October 14, 2021

Speaking to The Vibes, PH strategy director and Amanah deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said that he is pleased with the initial progress of the MoU, but maintained that the coalition will continue pushing for the 10 remaining reforms, particularly those on parliamentary transformation.

Of the six items listed that require “immediate” implementation, four have yet to be carried out, including tabling a parliamentary services bill in the Dewan Rakyat, strengthening parliamentary special select committees, and amending the Standing Orders to ensure more efficient proceedings.

“Yes, I’m surely optimistic. If the progress is good, why not just compliment the victory of the MoU. But if the government doesn’t fulfil the other promises, our stand is clear, we will back out. Whatever is stated in the MoU, we will surely push for it,” the Pulai MP said today.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil says while some of the reform promises do not have a timeline for implementation, Pakatan and the government must reach an understanding to ensure they are being operationalised. – Bernama pic, October 14, 2021
Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil says while some of the reform promises do not have a timeline for implementation, Pakatan and the government must reach an understanding to ensure they are being operationalised. – Bernama pic

Salahuddin, who is a member of the steering committee overseeing the implementation of the MoU, said that PH will raise whatever concerns during the committee meeting with the government, held twice a month.

However, he acknowledged that some of them may require time to go through the due process, including those requiring amendments to the constitution and approval from the attorney-general.

Like Salahuddin, PH communications director Fahmi Fadzil also expressed some concerns over the slow implementation of certain promises, but said the progress so far is “quite good”.

I’m cautiously optimistic. There are some which I feel are good. But if you look at the parliamentary reforms, we are finding that part a little slow. In fact, we have not heard any update from the government about its commitment to having a parliamentary services act.”

The PKR Lembah Pantai lawmaker said that this matter will be raised when the select committee meets next on October 25, adding that a potential major deal-breaker for PH on the MoU will be on the independence of the judiciary.

“If it is in any way compromised, that will be a concern that many among us from PH have raised in the steering committee before,” said Fahmi, adding that while some of the reform promises do not have a specific timeline for implementation, PH and the government will have to come to an understanding to ensure they are being operationalised.

PKR information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin says that the government made a good start on the MoU with Pakatan. – Bernama pic, October 14, 2021
PKR information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin says that the government made a good start on the MoU with Pakatan. – Bernama pic

PKR information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin said that it is still too early for the opposition to be satisfied by the MoU’s progress but admitted that the government had made a good start.

The Hang Tuah Jaya lawmaker said that the primary focus will now be on the parliamentary reforms, as well as the anti-hopping law, which PKR will be pushing for in the next Dewan Rakyat sitting.

Meanwhile, DAP vice-chairman M. Kulasegaran said that he is hopeful that any necessary amendment or introduction of a new legislation in relation to the MoU can be finalised in the next Parliament sitting, with particular emphasis on the anti-hopping law.

“My biggest worry is if we don’t introduce such a law, Malaysians will feel there is no necessity to vote in the election, knowing the person they voted for could jump over to another party. For me, this should be the primary focus,” the Ipoh Barat MP said.

By : Amar Shah Mohsen – THE VIBES

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