Memorandum of Understanding on confidence-supply-reform (CSR) between Ismail Sabri and Pakatan Harapan the most important political document in the nation’s history since the drafting of Malaysian Constitution and Rukun Negara
The memorandum of understanding on confidence-supply-reform (CSR) between the ninth Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri and Pakatan Harapan is the most important political document in the nation’s history since the drafting of the Malaysian Constitution and Rukun Negara.
One pertinent question is why such a memorandum of understanding had not been drawn up earlier in the nation’s history.
There are two reasons:
Firstly, the Umno-dominated Barisan Nasional coalition which ruled the country for half a century from the seventies to the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 was too powerful and hegemonic.
Secondly, the existential threat posed by the 21-month Covid-19 pandemic.
When Muhyiddin Yassin was sworn in as Prime Minister on March 1, 2020, there were 29 Covid-19 cases and zero Covid-19 deaths.
But when Malaysia celebrates the 58th Malaysia tomorrow on Sept. 16, 2021, we would have more than two million Covid-19 cases and more than 22,000 Covid-19 deaths – marking Malaysia as one of the world’s worst-performing nations in the Covid-19 pandemic.
When we celebrated the 57th Malaysia Day twelve months ago on September 16, 2020, we were ranked No. 89th among nations in the world with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.
We have overtaken 68 other countries in the past 12 months to be ranked No. 21 among nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.
If we continue with the present rate of Covid-19 infections, we are heading to pass the three million mark for Covid-19 cases by the end of October and be ranked No. 16 among nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases – as well as passing the 30,000-mark for Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia.
These are dubious world distinctions which Malaysians do not want the country to have – just as they do not want Malaysia to have the appellation of a kleptocracy, kakistocracy or a failed state.
Malaysians must unite to win the losing war against the Covid-19 pandemic so that we can embark on economic, social and national recovery and normality.
These are important reasons for the CSR MOU between the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri and the Pakatan Harapan parties – to win the war against Covid-19, strengthen and normalise democracy and pave the way for national recovery and normality.
We must have the stamina and perseverance to see through political change for the better in Malaysia.
Forty-four years ago on March 21, 1978, I moved a Private Member’s Bill for an Anti-Hopping Act to combat political corruption and to protect the integrity of Parliament. Fifty years ago in 1971, I first raised in Parliament the issue of reducing the voting age to 18 years old.
I am now an octogenarian but it is good to see the reforms I had advocated half a century ago coming to fruition.
Lets see which political party can field the most number of young Malaysians between the ages of 18 – 21 as Parliamentary and State Assembly candidates in the 15th General Election.
DAP and Pakatan Harapan had always advocated democratic changes for the country rather than for self-advancement and this is one great example.
DAP leaders and activists must lead public opinion that the country demands a moratorium and a political ceasefire for the next 10-18 months until the15th General Election so that we can focus on winning the war against the Covid-19 pandemic and reset the country for economic, social and national recovery and normality.
If there had been no CSR MOU, Ismail Sabri might have lost his first vote in Parliament over the appointment of a Deputy Speaker on the first working day of Parliament last Tuesday and he might end up as the Malaysian Prime Minister serving the shortest term – shorter than Muhyiddin Yassin’s term of 17 months.
But this is not the time for political intrigues, plots and counter-plots but for unity and co-operation by all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics to end the longest Covid-19 wave in the world, which had caused over two million Covid-19 cases and over 22,000 Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia, especially as any new 10th Prime Minister in such circumstances will not be Anwar Ibrahim.
We still have critical differences with the government parties, on constitutional democracy and the Rukun Negara; the rule of law, good governance, war against corruption and abuses of power, respect for human rights and freedom of speech and expression; the economic, social and educational injustices and inequalities in the country; Malaysia as a world-class great nation and how to forge Malaysian unity out of diverse races, religions, regions and cultures in Malaysia.
But our differences can wait and must wait in the face of the existential threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our commonalities as a Malaysian, regardless of race, religion, region or politics, must take pre-eminent position and our common priority must be to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic to assure a safe future for all Malaysians.
This is in fact a supreme test of one’s love for the nation and Malaysian people.