PETALING JAYA, Sept 15 (Sin Chew Daily) – The signing of “transformation and political stability” MoU between the government and Pakatan Harapan may not augur well for the latter, as the coalition may no longer be able to play its opposition role effectively and have to bear the responsibility in running the country.
Responsibility in governance
Prof. Dr. Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor of Universiti Malaya’s Academy of Islamic Studies said signing the MoU is unfavorable to the PH as they will no longer be able to effectively play their opposition role even if they may voice their views in government policies.
“From the political perspectives, Malaysians will feel that they will also need to bear the responsibility in governance now that they are in a team, and can no longer criticize the government.
“Although they do not join the government, they are seen as a part of the management.
“People may feel somewhat disappointed because they used to be so strong and were vocal in the government’s policies.”
Nonetheless, Mohd Roslan feels that signing the MoU is definitely a good thing for the country from the development point of view. Investors will have more faith in the country as everyone is now moving forward towards a common goal and concentrate on delivering for the well-being of the rakyat, such as battling the pandemic and restoring the economy, instead of fighting for power.
He feels that the biggest beneficiary is actually Perikatan Nasional and not Barisan Nasional, as the idea of bipartisan collaboration has been the brainchild of former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
To a certain extent, signing the MoU is a good thing as Umno’s “court cluster” will not be able to exert too much influence over the new government, because Umno is not leading this government and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has no obligation to do what Umno wants.
“The PM has his own thinking and management style and this goes well with PN’s needs. What he is now doing is carrying on with Muhyiddin’s old plans.”
An exchange deal
Local political commentator Tang Ah Chai said signing the MoU is one way of keeping the heat in the run-up to the next general election for the opposition PH, for its de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has sort of reached his limit in garnering support.
Under such circumstances, signing the MoU is seen as a favorable move to push ahead the opposition camp’s reform agenda.
Now that the MoU has been signed, whether Ismail’s administration will remain stable depends very much on whether the opposition are happy with the ruling party’s sincerity in the cooperation.
He said the MoU is kind of a swap of interests, with one side seeking more support and the other side institutional reform and fairer policies to the opposition.
“Time is a crucial factor. If nothing solid comes out within the year, I believe there will be backlash from the opposition, be if the leadership or grassroots.
“They will feel cheated that Ismail is offering a concept just to exchange for opposition’s support.”
As to the question whether signing the MoU will be unfavorable to the PH, Tang said this would depend on whether the ruling party could deliver what has been promised in the near term.