PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s role as Opposition Leader received an immediate boost following the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a bi-partisan approach to reform Parliament.
According to one of the clauses in the MoU, the Port Dickson MP role as Opposition Leader in Dewan Rakyat is to be enhanced immediately.
The clause reads: “To ensure that Dewan Rakyat Opposition Leader is given the appropriate rights and facilities to be able to discharge his responsibilities effectively and comprehensively”.
On Monday (Sept 13), the government and Opposition leaders signed a historic MoU in Parliament, paving the way for a bipartisan and consensus approach in bringing stability and reform to the nation.
The MoU covers six main agendas, namely empowering the Covid-19 plan, administrative transformation, rejuvenation of Parliament, independence of judicial institutions, Malaysia Agreement (MA63), and the setting up of a steering committee.
The document was inked by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Rais Yatim, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation president (Upko) president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangua.
Also to be immediately implemented is the restructuring of Parliament’s Special Select Committees and increasing the number of committees should the need arise.
Representation of government and Opposition lawmakers in the committees will be equal to reflect their respective parties in the House.
This includes providing the necessary support staff and allowances.
Also to have immediate effect is equal allocation of funds for government MPs and all Opposition lawmakers coming under the MoU.
It was also agreed that Ismail Sabri will remain as Prime Minister of Malaysia as long as the MoU is in effect until Parliament is dissolved.
It was also agreed that Parliament will not be suspended until July 31, 2022.
Other parliamentary reforms include the tabling of a Bill for the Parliament Services Act by the second meeting of Dewan Rakyat next year.
The Parliamentary Services Act was enacted in 1963 after the formation of Malaysia but was later repealed in 1992.
The MoU also calls for the setting up of a Steering Committee comprising five members from the government to be selected by the prime minister and another five members from the Opposition.
The steering committee will continue to operate for as long as the MoU is in effect and is to meet at least once or twice a week.
Also contained in the MoU are plans to table the anti-party hopping bill and law to limit the term of the prime minister to 10 years.
On Undi18, the government agrees to get the Election Commission to expedite its implementation.
These legislative reforms are targeted for implementation by the end of the fifth parliamentary session next year.
On other matters under the MoU, the government said that it would inject an additional RM45 billion into the Covid-19 fund, bringing the total to RM110 billion.
It was agreed under the MoU, that RM10 billion in cash aid is to be provided to the lower half of the 40% households under the B40 group, hardcore poor and urban poor, 40% in the mid-range of the M40 group, and those who have lost their income.
Also mentioned was an automatic bank loan moratorium on interest payments for three months beginning in October for some 50% of those in the lower groups in the country.
On the National Recovery Council, both sides agreed that it should comprise 50% experts from the public and private sectors and 25% each from the Opposition and government. – The Star