Will anyone of the 46 PAS MPs resign in protest that their election to Parliament was funded by gambling?

The Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, has implied that Perikatan Nasional (PN)’s election funds party came from gaming companies involved in special draws.

Will anyone of the 46 PAS MPs resign in protest that their election to Parliament was funded by gambling?

It is indeed shocking that the previous PN government led by Bersatu and PAS had increased the frequency of special draws from eight per year to 22 — a decision made in late 2020.

I welcome the decision by Anwar as Finance Minister to reduce the number of special draws to eight per year from January next month.

Anwar Ibrahim had started his administration on the right footing in securing the agreement of his Cabinet Ministers to take a 20 per cent pay cut to their monthly salaries until the economy recovers in three years’ time.

Anwar’s appointment as Prime Minister on November 25 has seen the stock market and the ringgit reacting positively and this must be sustained.

One major difference between the first Pakatan Harapan government in 2018 and the unity government in 2022 is that the former had never thought that its five-year mandate could be truncated and toppled after 22 months, while the unity government under Anwar must be fully aware and conscious that it could be toppled any time.

This was made clear by Arau MP Shahidan Kassim who said in the Padang Serai by-election campaign that plans are underway to ensure that Anwar’s cabinet will not last long and PN — with PAS holding the most number of Parliament seats as an individual party — will assume federal power.

The unity government should build on the work done by the first Pakatan Harapan government in 22 months to prepare for institutional reforms to reset nation-building policies and return to the aspiration of the nation’s founding fathers (which included the first four UMNO Presidents) — constitutional monarchy, vibrant parliamentary democracy, doctrine of separation of powers, the rule of law, meritocracy, a free press, respect for human rights, an end to the injustices and inequalities in the country, upholding the multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and multi-religious character of Malaysia, least corruption and an accountable public service with integrity and efficiency so as to be able to end the national decline in the past six decades and take our proper place in the international arena as a first-rate world-class great nation.

The Conference of Rulers’ proposal for the Judicial Appointments Committee (JAC) to be free of influence from the prime minister should be applauded.

The idea of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir for the removal of the prime minister’s power to appoint JAC members would ensure that its composition does not carry the interests of any party.

There are clear signs that Malaysia is restoring an independent judiciary after three decades of judicial darkness, and this trend should be encouraged.

The Anwar Cabinet should seriously consider making public the report of the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) in 2018 towards making Malaysia a matured and truly democratic nation.

It would not be possible to introduce any major institutional reforms in the parliamentary meeting on Dec. 19, but Ministers should be encouraged to propose major institutional reforms in the first working meeting of Parliament next year and to have the mentality that while the Anwar premiership should last five years to reflect political stability in the country, it is possible that it may be toppled in one year, and all major institutional reforms should be introduced in the first parliamentary year of the Anwar premiership.

It would not be possible for the Anwar government to do anything to influence the Transparency International (ITI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2022, which will be released next month where Malaysia is expected to perform dismally, but there should be a major declaration on public integrity in the first meeting of Parliament in next year to make Malaysia one of the countries with minimal corruption in the world.

The allegation by the PAS President, Hadi Awang, that DAP is promote Islamophobia must be taken seriously, but Hadi does not seem to be serious on the matter.

Hadi should either substantiate the allegation that DAP is promoting Islamophobia or retract the allegation.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran