KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s offer for cross-party cooperation is an opportunity the Opposition should seize to stabilise Malaysia and put the country on the path of recovery in the pandemic, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said.
Ongkili, whose party is part of Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, said the seven proposals for stability and cooperation the prime minister put forth should be considered positively by all parties.
“Given the uncertain political scenario, whichever side one takes, this is a rare opportunity to work together and set aside political differences, living up to the ‘rakyat first’ slogan.
“I am imploring my peers from the Opposition to seize this opportunity and prioritise the nation’s interest and priorities for economic and political stability, and together, take this country forward as our commitment of solidarity,” Ongkili was quoted as saying by Malay daily Sinar Harian today.
Ongkili, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Sabah and Sarawak affairs, was responding to Muhyiddin’s proposal to those outside his ruling coalition to work together ahead of next month’s vote of confidence in Parliament.
In a special address broadcast yesterday, Muhyiddin said 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 yesterday, the prime minister also insisted that not a single MP can prove they had the majority support to be able to present themselves to the King to appoint them as the new prime minister. He also urged all MPs to discuss his proposals next week.
Muhyiddin, whose support among MPs has been questioned, is scheduled to table a motion of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat on September 7.
Ongkili said the more urgent task now was to win the battle against Covid-19 to save lives and achieve economic recovery rather than prolonging the political turmoil or pushing for fresh elections.
“It is not the time to quarrel and fight over who should be prime minister. We can solve that problem by going for a general election.
“But this is not the time for an election. The rakyat deserves better service from the government rather than being pushed to go to the polls during such a tragic time as this,” the PBS leader was quoted saying.