KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Opposition lawmaker Lim Guan Eng today urged Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to prove his sincerity and commitment to turn the beleaguered country around by setting a clear timeline to execute the parliamentary and government reforms.
The Bagan MP said the reforms must also include the economy and the public healthcare system, noting the challenges posed by the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic that may affect the country’s fights against future pandemics unless redressed.
“As the new prime minister and to show his sincerity and commitment that he is serious about implementing these reforms, Ismail must do substantially better than his predecessor, particularly reforms in the economy and public healthcare,” he said in a statement.
Yesterday, Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced his intention to table several laws in the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting that he said would transform Parliament and the running of the government.
His seven promises were to enact an anti-party hopping law, limit the prime minister’s term to 10 years, provide the Opposition leader the same emolument and resources as a minister, set an equal number of Opposition members in Parliamentary Select Committees, bipartisan negotiation on Bills, involve Opposition members in the National Recovery Council, and amending the Constitution to allow 18-year-olds to vote.
“Only a whole-of-society approach towards reforms in politics, economy and public healthcare, can there be a united focus to win the battle against Covid-19 and rescue the beleaguered economy to save lives and livelihoods,” Lim said.
He repeated his call for the government to inject RM45 billion into the diminishing national Covid-19 fund and waive the interest fees on bank loans given to borrowers during the moratorium to resuscitate Malaysia’s economy.
He also urged the government to revise its strategy in the post Covid-19 era from one that focuses on containment and eradication to living with the viral disease as it becomes endemic.
Lim previously said there was only some RM8.6 billion left in the Covid-19 fund to cover the second half of this year.
On August 13, former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had pledged to add RM45 billion on top of the RM65 billion that was approved by the Parliament last year, making the total Covid-19 Fund RM110 billion.