Kit Siang: Those predicting opposition’s demise over reform deal don’t know history

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DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today addressed scepticism over Pakatan Harapan’s deal with the government to provide confidence and supply in exchange for reforms, minutes after a memorandum of understanding was inked in Parliament.

Lim, who described the deal as a “confidence-supply-reform (CSR) memorandum”, said Harapan still has deep differences with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government but those differences have to be set aside in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Political analysts and commentators who see the CSR MoU as meaning the demise of the opposition in Malaysia do not know history, which is replete with examples of the need for unity to face a mortal foe, whether in the example of Mao-Tse-Tung/Chiang Kai Shek United Front against the Japanese aggressors or the Winston Churchill/Clement Attlee coalition government against Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Bernama

“Churchill had condemned Attlee’s Labour Party socialists but when Britain was under mortal danger, Churchill and Attlee not only formed a war coalition government, they forged a United Front with Soviet Union’s Stalin against Hitler,” he said.

In Malaysia, Lim said Harapan has not gone that far to form a unity government with government parties.

“What we have done is to reach a confidence-supply-reform memorandum of understanding between the government and opposition,” he added.

Lim said this is so that for the remaining time until the next general election, the focus can be on the “invisible” Covid-19 war which has claimed almost 21,000 lives in 21 months.

At the same time, he said the deal seeks to reset institutional and parliamentary reforms which he said can help the country embark on economic, social and national recovery.

“We still have critical differences with the government parties on constitutional democracy and the Rukun Negara, the rule of law, good governance, war against corruption and abuses of power, respect for human rights and freedom of speech and expression, Malaysia as a world-class great nation and how to forge Malaysian unity out of diverse races, religions, regions and cultures in Malaysia.

“But our differences can wait and must wait in the face of the existential threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our commonalities as a Malaysian, regardless of race, religion, region or politics, must take a pre-eminent position and our common priority must be to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic to assure a safe future for all Malaysian,” he said.

Ismail Sabri’s government today inked a deal with Harapan whereby the government promised reforms in:

  • Strengthening of the Covid-19 plan
  • Governance transformation
  • Parliamentary reforms
  • Ensuring judicial independence
  • The Malaysia Agreement 1963
  • The formation of a steering committee

In a statement, the premier said the transformations that his government had pledged to fulfil will result in the country being better managed which in turn will help the country’s fight against Covid-19 and economic recovery.

Ismail Sabri did not reveal what was Harapan’s end of the bargain.

However, Malaysiakini understood that Harapan has provided Ismail Sabri with a conditional promise to not oust him as prime minister nor block Budget 2022.

Harapan has promised to release details of the deal in due time. – Malaysiakini