Consider benefits to rakyat before rejecting Muhyiddin’s offer, says Tony Pua

Tony Pua – Pix from MM

By John Isaac

DAP’s National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua has asked his colleagues in Pakatan Harapan (PH) and the Opposition to give “full consideration” to the offer made by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on bipartisan cooperation today if the coalition does not have the majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

In a long post on his official Facebook page, the Damansara MP said PH has “nothing to lose” as the decision could mean ending the political impasse as well as ensuring that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government institutes political reforms.

He added that the people will surely vote out PN in the next general election, slated to take place “10 months away”, as promised by Muhyiddin.

“Let us now count the potential benefits to the rakyat — we end the political turmoil and impasse; we block the return of the kleptocrats; we prevent a general election in the middle of the pandemic; we get the PN govt to institute priceless reforms; we get an equal say in passing all Bills and finally, we’ll get to kick PN out in a GE to be held about 10 months away.

“My view is, if we cannot secure a majority for our Opposition Leader, we must give the offer by Muhyiddin full consideration. He has asked to meet all Opposition parties to discuss the above. And we must at the very least agree to attend the meeting. After all, there’s everything to gain for the rakyat, and nothing to lose,” he posted on his Facebook page tonight.

In his special address yesterday, Muhyiddin expressed his willingness to work with parties outside of PN following a scheduled vote of confidence in Parliament.

Muhyiddin said after the confidence vote is done, there will be a more stable and inclusive government that recognises bipartisan input in managing the pandemic as well as promising several institutional reforms and a general election before July next year.

The PH presidential council as well as various Opposition MPs and parties have rejected the offer outright, calling for Muhyiddin to resign as his majority support in the Dewan Rakyat is in doubt.

Pua added that though he would personally rejoice if Muhyiddin were to resign, he thinks that the next step would be crucial as it did not answer the question on whether PH can save the country ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He argued that the offer, especially in terms of reforms, was reasonable as it could become a reality if PH and PN could work together in Parliament.

“Some of my comrades say that the PN government is weak and desperate, that’s why they are now making these offers. Well, if they are strong, why should they? And if they are indeed weak and desperate, isn’t that the best time to be negotiating with them?

“Some others would argue that it’s too little too late. Yes, it is unquestionably late. But not so late that we can still avoid (i) continued political turmoil killing the country’s health and economy (ii) an Umno PM or (iii) a general election. The question for us in PH is, can we save the country from the brink?

Earlier, Pua’s DAP colleague and Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming responded to Muhyiddin’s offer in a similar way, saying that all political parties should at least hear the prime minister out.

“PM @MuhyiddinYassin has proposed a way fwd with a number of institutional reforms that could leave a lasting impact on Msian politics if passed. I think that all political parties should sit down to discuss if these terms are acceptable or not, no?” he tweeted. – Malay Mail