Unity govt the best way forward

13 Jan 2021 / 11:32 H.

PETALING JAYA: The time has come for parties and leaders of all political stripes to work together to overcome the health and economic crises that have beset Malaysia for close to a year now.

One way to do this, political analyst Dr Lim Teck Ghee said, is to form a unity government.

“Such a government would provide the best fix for now,” he said in response to the declaration of emergency by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah yesterday.

“The best way to defuse the current political differences and instability would be to set up a unity government. This initiative appears to be beyond the capability of the present government to put together to protect the national interest,” he told theSun yesterday.

He also expressed confidence that most Malaysians would support the proposal to address the nation’s current problems.

“If a poll were taken on the issue today or even in August, I am certain that most Malaysians will support the formation of a unity government until the pandemic crisis is over and we can return to the normal election cycle,” he added.

However, another analyst pointed out, the PN leadership would have to make the first move by inviting its political allies and nemeses to join forces with it.

Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said if all parties are to work together, it must also be done in a comprehensive way.

“What’s most important now is the people’s health and well-being, regardless of their race and background. A unity government is better than one with a slim majority,” he told theSun.

Several quarters have also been critical of the declaration of emergency.

Civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan said it is impossible to justify an emergency when the crisis could have been dealt with under existing legislations.

“People can’t help but wonder if the emergency has been declared for the sole purpose of saving the current government,” he added.

In Klang MP Charles Santiago’s eyes, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is only responding to a political struggle within the PN government rather than deal with the Covid-19 crisis.

He believes that with more Umno MPs withdrawing their support for Muhyiddin, the prime minister is just pre-empting a further erosion of his powers.

Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz announced the withdrawal of his support for the PN administration yesterday, making him the third Umno representative to do so.

The others are Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and his Machang counterpart Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakob.

National Patriots Association public communications director Kapt (Rtd) Dr Wong Ang Peng described the use of emergency to address the Covid-19 crisis as an “overkill”.

He shared Syahredzan’s view that existing legislations are adequate to deal with the pandemic.

“Emergency should only be used if there is a national security threat, and Covid-19 is not one of them,” he said.

Bar Council president Salim Bashir explained that the declaration of an emergency is the prerogative of the King based on the advice of the prime minister.

“During a state of emergency, the Federal Constitution will be suspended and the executive branch will handle the administration of the country,” he added.

Prof Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi of UCSI University said “pulling an emergency card” can be perceived as a political move rather than one to help flatten the Covid-19 curve.

“The movement control order is quite sufficient to deal with this crisis,” he added.

email blast