Anwar explains why PH accepted Ismail Sabri’s offer but not Muhyiddin’s

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Pakatan Harapan agreed to sign a deal with Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the prime minister was ready to negotiate with them on political stability and transformation, Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday.

He said that Ismail’s predecessor, Muhyiddin Yassin, however, was not interested in any negotiations, thus the reason for Pakatan to reject his offer.

Anwar (Port Dickson-PH) said Muhyiddin’s offer was more of an attempt to legitimise his government when it was on the brink of collapse.

“Pagoh’s (Muhyiddin’s) offer was different; the confidence and supply agreement required us to support and legitimise the government,” he said while debating the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

“But now we have an understanding that the Opposition can disagree if there is no negotiation,” he added.


“Bera (Ismail) was different. He won, albeit a small majority, but on the second and third day (after he was sworn in), he called (the Opposition),” said Anwar.

Muhyiddin outlined a similar offer to opposition MPs in a telecast last month to get bipartisan support to stay in power and steer the country out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The enactment of an anti-party hopping law and carrying out parliamentary reforms were among the offers made by the then embattled prime minister if he survived the confidence vote.

However, the opposition rejected the offer, the move ending in Muhyiddin tendering his resignation three days later on August 16.

Anwar said he will not reject offers to negotiate with the government.

The PKR president was responding to a question by Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (Pasir Mas-PAS) on why Muhyiddin’s offer was rejected without any negotiations being held when both offers were not starkly different.

The MOU was signed in Parliament on 13 September, witnessed by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun and Senate president Rais Yatim.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob signed on behalf of the government while PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah chairman Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation president Wilfred Madius Tangau represented PH.

On 10 September, Ismail offered the opposition seven parliamentary and governance reforms, which included limiting the tenure of the prime minister to 10 years and the tabling of an anti-party hopping bill.

He also offered to give ministerial status to the opposition leader, as well as equal representation between opposition MPs and government backbenchers in parliamentary special select committees.

As for legislative improvements, Ismail proposed that all bills, including the supply bill be tabled, discussed, and mutually agreed upon in Parliament. – TMI