Kuala Lumpur, 13 Aug — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin put forward a “cross-party understanding” to obtain support from groups outside the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition to ensure that the government does not collapse in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My priority is only to ensure that the government can function well during the pandemic to restore the country,” Muhyiddin said in a special address today.
Stressing that it was critical to ensure that the group of “kleptocrats” do not return to power, Muhyiddin further outlined seven proposals under the cross-party understanding.
He said with strong support, the PN government pledged to implement the following changes:
1. Equal allocation of funds of RM 300,000 to all MPs across the political divide;
2. Increased spending to RM110 billion for dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, including cash aid worth RM10 billion for 11 million people in the B40 and M40 categories;
3. The enactment of an anti-hopping law and limiting the prime minister’s tenure to two terms;
4. A balanced representation of MPs from the government and opposition in the Special Parliamentary Select Committee;
5. The implementation of Undi 18 without waiting for the automatic registration of voters;
6. A commitment to consult with MPs before the tabling of bills;
7. Upgrading the status of the opposition leader in Parliament to that of a senior minister.
“If this proposal for bipartisan cooperation is agreed to, I will convene a special session of the Dewan Rakyat to table a motion of confidence in the prime minister in the very near future”.
“I assure you that I will take the honorable and constitutional way of resolving the current political crisis”, adding that the easy way out for him would be to resign and leave it to the Agong to appoint a new prime minister to form the government.
“However, until now, not one MP has been able to prove that he has the majority support of MPs in the Dewan Rakyat to enable the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint a new prime minister,” he said, saying that it could trigger a power vacuum at a critical stage of the battle against the pandemic, including the immunization drive.
Muhyiddin said the coming two months were critical to achieving herd immunity, and that Malaysia could not afford to let political turmoil disrupt this.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin also gave his word that the next general election would be held before July next year if the pandemic situation allows for it.
“As such, subject to the pandemic situation, I make a commitment that the 15th general election will be held no later than the end of July next year.”
Muhyiddin said he was optimistic that the nation would bounce back, and that Malaysians could return to their daily activities which had been interrupted by the pandemic.
He also said he was aware of his weaknesses and shortcomings.
“What more when as prime minister I have had to shoulder a heavy burden to manage this extraordinary pandemic for more than a year now”.
“Certainly, I need the support and backing of my colleagues in the Cabinet, state government leaders, officials, frontliners, and the people as a whole to enable me to carry out the responsibility of bringing this country out of this crisis.”
Muhyiddin also took aim at a group of Umno leaders, stating that his reaching out to the opposition was driven by the need to prevent kleptocrats from coming to power.
“I, too, like all of you, am duty-bound not to allow the group of kleptocrats to come to power if this political crisis is not resolved immediately”.