KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 ― Opposition party DAP today explained its rejection of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s offer for bipartisan cooperation to stabilise Malaysia and speed up the country’s health and economic recovery during the pandemic.
Its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party has been very clear on Malaysia’s political leadership and what is needed to steer the country forward towards normality post Covid-19.
“DAP is clear on our choice of who should be the next Prime Minister in accordance with PH’s mandate. No one person is entitled to be Prime Minister but qualification must be based on potential capability and capacity to overcome the covid-19 pandemic, economic recession and commitment to institutional reforms to normalize Malaysia as an emerging developed nation,” he said in a statement.
“In other words, the national obsession should not be on who is Prime Minister but what Covid-19 Reset Plan to correct the failures of the current government and an economic normalisation plan to put Malaysia back on track as well demonstrating that we can do more on institutional reforms than what Mahiaddin has offered,” he added, the last referring to Muhyiddin by his given name.
Lim, like many others in the Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, alleged that Muhyiddin’s offer of bipartisan cooperation, perks and reform proposals yesterday was akin to bribery in an attempt to remain prime minister.
The Bagan MP claimed 105 MPs have rejected Muhyiddin’s leadership despite the latter’s offer, adding that they did not believe the PM was sincere.
“For those initially attracted by the promised reforms, they cannot be faulted for relying on the common refrain of ‘the end justifies the means’, regardless of who initiates them. They are not wrong in their idealistic pursuit of institutional reforms,” Lim said.
But he added that Muhyiddin’s past conduct has not given cause for MPs to trust him.
“Institutional reform is not political expediency, there must be genuine commitment and even sacrifice, then only can we bring forth meaningful progress. Based on the prime minister’s record of political treachery and the composition of his conservative Cabinet that is consistently opposed to reforms of any kind, there is genuine scepticism whether he will deliver his promised reforms when it is clearly a gambit for power or stratagem for survival,” he said.
In a special televised address yesterday, Muhyiddin reached out to the Opposition and former Umno allies to set aside their political differences and work for the country’s stability and recovery amid the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The PM also referenced his confidence motion to be tabled in Parliament on September 7.
He proposed his plan to table a Bill limiting future prime ministers to just two terms.
He said that after the confidence vote is done, there will be a more stable and inclusive government that recognises bipartisan input in managing the pandemic.
In his speech, the Pagoh MP also insisted that not a single MP can prove they had the majority support to be able to present themselves to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint them as the new prime minister. He also urged all MPs to discuss his proposals next week.