PAKATAN Harapan (PH) should not walk away from the memorandum of understanding (MoU) it signed with the federal Government regardless of the Court of Appeal’s upcoming ruling on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM42 mil SRC case on Wednesday, said an MP.
In highlighting how some of the reform promises – including the establishment of more parliamentary special select committees as well as a prorated allocation for Opposition MPs for the final three months of the year (with the promise of an equal allocation for 2022) – had already been delivered as a result of the MoU, Bangi MP Dr Ong Kian Ming warned that all the efforts to push for these reforms will collapse if PH reacts to past and upcoming political events with short-term thinking.
“For example, there will be a huge outcry if, on Dec 8, 2021, the Court of Appeal rules in favour of Najib and overturns his corruption and abuse of power conviction in the High Court over the SRC case,” said the DAP lawmaker.
“There will be inevitable public pressure on PH to revoke the MoU with Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Government.
“This will be a mistake as it will be playing straight into the hands of some leaders in UMNO who wants to trigger a collapse in the federal Government and call for GE15 in the next three months.
“The proposed reforms in the MoU will be left by the wayside, especially if UMNO regains its dominance in GE15 and Najib comes back with a vengeance.
“The opportunity for a long-term institutional reform will be lost. Such an opportunity may not return in the next 10 years or so, especially if Barisan Nasional/UMNO were to use its levers of power to repress and weaken the Opposition.”
On Wednesday (Dec 8), the Court of Appeal is expected to deliver its decision on the appeal by Najib to quash his conviction on seven charges of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) over SRC International funds.
In July 2020, High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and fined him RM210 mil after finding him guilty on all seven charges.
According to Dr Ong, the result of knee-jerk reactions that were driven by public sentiment can be seen when former premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin proposed a Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA) just before the collapse of his government.
“PH leaders chose to reject the CSA just hours after the offer was made publicly, and this led directly to the return of an UMNO Prime Minister which was and still is not in the strategic interest of PH.
“The [olive branch offer] had given some breathing space for PH to recover after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had once again failed to get the numbers to be appointed Prime Minister following Muhyiddin’s resignation in August 2021.
“The result of the Melaka state election in November is already a clear sign that it is not in PH’s interest to trigger GE15 in the next year or so but instead, spend this time pushing for the promised reforms in the MoU and to find a new narrative and gameplan for GE15,” he added. – Dec 6, 2021
Photo credit: The Star