THE leaders of five political coalitions and parties in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Friday (Dec 16) to support his administration, but that is not the end game, warns Mohd S, a political analyst who told FocusM that Anwar must remember that his reform partners are watching him.
According to an analyst who runs a think tank, while the MOU states, among other things, that coalition Members of Parliament (MP) should vote to support Anwar in all matters related to confidence and supply, as well as matters that can affect the government’s legitimacy, Anwar still has to contend with sentiments from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the UMNO in particular.
Anwar has said the MOU will allow the Government to focus on matters of good governance and drive more convincing economic growth.
This cannot be achieved without the cooperation of the party leaders from the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, he added, but Mohd S noted that he has to listen to all parties and should not let a situation like the u-turn on the controversial Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 ruin the relationship with the DAP.
“I see that in the future, DAP will take its own course and walk their talk if Anwar’s government does no proceed with reforms. The SOSMA is a litmus test for Anwar though it is currently swept under the carpet,” he said.
Damansara MP Gobind Singh Deo was the first to criticise Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail’s U-turn, but he has made a small concession, saying SOSMA will be reviewed as needed. This may have quieted some of the critics for the time being, but the analyst predicts that it will resurface sooner or later.
“Anwar needs to ask for the views of all parties on all issues. He also needs to give a clearer understanding to party members and the people about the big agenda of changes he will make so that everyone can wait calmly and patiently,” he advised.
He pointed out there should not be any rush nor any twisting and turning that will raise suspicion and cause trouble among coalition partners in the Pakatan Harapan.
On the issue of the fight against corruption, he said, “Many are afraid of Anwar because of his anti-corruption agenda. For that too, he has to keep talking to the members of the coalition to reassure them and to listen to them. But the agenda must go on.
“Convey the agenda as often as possible so that the people always wait for hope. Because Malaysians like to be promised with hope, adding that on UMNO’s side, Zahid has to control the party’s parliamentarians so that they don’t often make wild statements that will only harm the Government.” — Dec 17, 2022
Main photo credit: Bernama