DAP MP: Not true Pakatan will back Ismail Sabri if confidence vote held

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Rumours that the opposition bloc will support Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob if a confidence vote is held in Parliament are untrue, said Sarawak DAP politician Oscar Ling.

The Sibu MP was quoted by Borneo Post as saying that no such decision has been made and that negotiations with the new government on reforms are still ongoing.

Ling confirmed party colleague Tony Pua’s recent disclosure that Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu were discussing with Ismail the same reforms promised to the opposition by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin before he resigned.

“We have not decided whether to vote against the new prime minister or not at this moment, we are still negotiating with the new government on policies that we want.

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“Those policies will start on seven proposals proposed by Muhyiddin, and we will add more, especially some policies in PH’s agenda,” Borneo Post quoted the Sibu DAP branch chairman as saying.

Talk that the opposition would support Ismail in a confidence vote arose after Pua told a recent online forum that the reforms offered by Muhyiddin before he resigned were back on the table with the new prime minister.

Muhyiddin’s offer in exchange for support in a confidence vote he was scheduled to face was rejected by the opposition, leading to his resignation and subsequent replacement by Ismail.

Pua said he was optimistic an agreement could be reached as Ismail was in a weak position within Umno and needed opposition support to thwart internal threats.

Pua said Ismail is now in a similar situation as Muhyiddin – a weak majority with the support of 114 out of 220 MPs.

“He doesn’t want to fall into the same trap or weakness that Muhyiddin faced. So, Ismail is making the move right at the start – let’s talk to the other side, let’s come to some form of arrangement that will keep me stable and allow me to keep my internal enemies – Najib (Razak), Zahid (Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) and the court cluster – at bay.”

PH chief secretary Saifuddin Nasution, meanwhile, said Pua’s revelation was premature as the negotiation process between the opposition coalition and Putrajaya is still ongoing.

“We have only just been contacted by one of the prime minister’s representatives following the meeting between Ismail and PH leaders last week,” Saifuddin said to Malaysiakini last night.

The idea of a deal or confidence and supply agreement with the government, whether under Muhyiddin prior to this and with Ismail’s administration now, has been advocated by Pua as a way to prevent the Umno “court cluster” from returning to power.

Pua has also said it would be a shot at securing some reforms in exchange for needed political stability to fight the Covid-19 epidemic, given the government’s slim majority. – TMI