Olive branch by Muhyiddin to opposition as he promises reforms

By S. Harrish

PRIME Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has called for bipartisan support as he seeks to hold on to power amid a looming confidence motion in parliament next month.

In a live address today, he said the Perikatan Nasional government would discuss with all political parties on the issue as he sought an understanding, while saving the government from falling.

Among his proposals are for all MPs to receive the same annual allocations regardless of their political affiliation.

He said for opposition MPs, their allocation for 2021 will be increased on a pro rata basis for the remaining months of the year.

He said if the government is able to secure the support of more than two-thirds in parliament, it will amend the constitution to put a two-term limit on prime ministers.

He also promised an Anti-Party Hopping Bill and the number of parliamentary select committees will be increased to involve more MPs.

Muhyiddin said government and opposition MPs will be in equal numbers in all parliamentary select committees.

The opposition leader will be given the remuneration and resources equivalent to those of a senior Cabinet minister.

He also assured to immediately lower the voting age to 18 but without the implementation of automatic voter registration as it may take time.

He also assured a RM45 billion increase of the government’s Covid-19 fund ceiling to RM110 billion after raising it to RM65 billion last year.

The premier said RM10 billion in direct cash assistance will be distributed from the Covid-19 fund to 11 million people and it will include the hardcore and urban poor, the B40 community and affected M40 families.

Muhyiddin also assured that he will take the “honourable path” in accordance to the Constitution as per the outcome of the confidence motion.

He has pledged that the next General Election (GE15) will be held latest by end of July next year.

He also said he had no intention to hold on to power and it would be best to return the mandate to the people to choose a new government when the time was right.

Muhyiddin said he will uphold his responsibility to not let the “kleptocrats” rule the country.

He is believed to be referring to Umno MPs such as Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who are currently facing corruption charges in court.

“I invite all political party leaders to discuss these proposals next week. I will issue an official invitation to all political party leaders to attend this discussion and I am ready to hear their views on this,” he said.

“If this proposed bipartisan cooperation is agreed, I will convene a special session of the Dewan Rakyat to table a motion of confidence in the prime minister in the near future.”

In immediate response, opposition party leaders from PKR and Pejuang said they will not accept the offer made by Muhyiddin.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil and Pejuang deputy president Marzuki Yahya both said that Muhyiddin is in no position to make such offers.

They also regarded the generous proposals made by the premier as a last-ditch attempt at saving his position instead of resigning.