Tony Pua, Ong Kian Ming: Consider PM’s proposals

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DAP’s Damansara MP Tony Pua and Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming have urged their Opposition colleagues to give consideration towards Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s bipartisan offer before rejecting it outright.

Pua said that Muhyiddin’s offer should be given due consideration, as Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim does not command the adequate parliamentary majority to form the next government.

“My view is if we cannot secure a majority for our Opposition leader, we must give the offer by Muhyiddin full consideration.

“He has asked to meet all Opposition parties to discuss the above and we must at the very least agree to attend the meeting.

“After all, there’s everything to gain for the rakyat and nothing to lose,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday (Aug 13).

Pua said his remarks would make some unhappy, but he urged others who “ponder rationally” to read his opinion.

Pua said he would be happy if Muhyiddin resigns as prime minister, but as a responsible elected MP, he has to ask himself “what’s next?”

One of the outcomes he listed was that the prime minister candidate of Pakatan Harapan steps forward now and announces he has a strong majority to form the next government.

“Then Muhyiddin’s speech is moot, and we can tell him to pack his bags and get out ASAP.

“But I’m sure everyone knows the answer to that. Especially since Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said Zahid swore he will never support Anwar as prime minister!”

Another possible outcome is that there could be continued political turmoil that could last weeks in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic while “the kleptocrats go free”.

The other possible outcome is a pandemic season general election, which could be disastrous, he added.

Therefore, the responsible thing that an MP should do is to give consideration to what Muhyiddin has to offer, said Pua.

Pua noted that Muhyiddin’s bipartisan offer has tangible bi-partisan reforms that could benefit the country if implemented.

Among them were the two-term limit for prime ministers, said Pua, adding that it was achieved in the previous Pakatan Harapan administration because it did not have two-thirds majority in the House.

Pua also noted Muhyiddin’s anti-hopping law, which could put an end to party hopping in Malaysia.

“Ironically, a government in power will always be reluctant to pass this law because those in the Opposition are more likely to leap to the government bench, than vice-versa.

“So now, we have this unique opportunity precisely because we have a weak government in need of bipartisan support.”

At the same time, Pua said parliamentary reforms promised by Muhyiddin could transform Parliament from a “neutered kitten to a proper watchdog” befitting the supreme legislative institution in the country.

He also said the Opposition will have more say in the upcoming Budget 2021, if Muhyiddin fulfils his promise.

“In the past, we got to make noise in Parliament, but were never able to change the outcome. But now, the offer is, we are consulted and included in the crafting of Budget 2021 (and other Bills) before they are even tabled in Parliament.

“Isn’t this a big improvement in governance and check and balances?” he questioned.

Noting that Muhyiddin’s offer might have come too late, Pua said nevertheless, it should be considered by Opposition MPs, as it could put an end to the politicking and the appointment of a prime minister from Umno.

Pua also asked Pakatan MPs to ask themselves if Pakatan is able to save the nation from its brink.

“Some are adamant that we must bring down the traitors. It’s hard not to share this sentiment.

“But we will bring them down. As Muhyiddin announced and I’m sure the Parliament can approve it via a motion, the general election will be called on or before July 2022 (after we get over the pandemic crisis).

“That’s only 10 months away and I’m very certain and confident that the rakyat will kick out those who betrayed their mandate in 2018 and return the right coalition back into power then. That will be the sweetest of revenge.”

Earlier, DAP’s Ong Kian Ming suggested that all political parties consider Muhyiddin’s proposals, noting that the reforms suggested would leave a lasting effect on Malaysian politics if passed.

Low Lay Phon/The Star

“PM @MuhyiddinYassin has proposed a way fwd with a number of institutional reforms that could leave a lasting impact on Msian politics if passed. I think that all political parties should sit down to discuss if these terms are acceptable or not, no?” he tweeted.

Ong’s tweet was met with an almost blanket disapproval by his followers.

It was quickly apparent that most did not share his sentiments.

“Utterly disappointed with you YB,” commented @45Fortify, “might as well announce your resignation from my party.”

“They had more than a year to do the reforms if they truly wanted to do it. Yet they tried everything to keep hold to the power. You think the same bunch of people (are) really interested with reforms?”

@A_lmTweets said something similar, threatening to pull their support for Ong.

“If you agree (with Muhyiddin), I won’t vote for you in the next election. Enough is enough.”

Firdaus Abdullah, in one of the more ‘likes’ responses, questioned Ong’s loyalty to the DAP.

“Are you part of Moo’s sleeper cell in DAP?”

He was not the only one to question the MP’s loyalty.

“OMG!!!!! Can’t you differentiate between OPEN bribery and genuine reforms???!!!,” asked an irate @PnuttYusof.

“And to think you are my MP, I voted for you!! You ni double agent ke ni?”