Political ceasefire to hold for now, say experts


PETALING JAYA: The political ceasefire is expected to hold when Parliament convenes next week but it will only be temporary, say political experts.

Political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said lawmakers will heed the King's call not to destabilise the nation but focus on the Budget 2021.

"The Agong made it clear that political differences must be set aside, not only for the good of the nation but also for frontliners who are battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The Opposition will not want to rock the boat at this juncture as a miscalculation on their part could backfire on them," he said when contacted on Tuesday (Oct 27).

Sivamurugan, from Universiti Sains Malaysia, added it is also unlikely that the motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would be tabled.

He said this is because the King had expressed confidence in the government's handling of the pandemic.

Apart from this, he said that Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun had recently clarified that government matters took precedence over Private Members' Bill in Parliament.

"Focus will be on the budget and there will be very little time for other matters," he said.

However, Sivamurugan noted the ceasefire would not be permanent.

"The ceasefire is expected to last until the Covid-19 situation improves before the politicking starts again.

"The Prime Minister must use this opportunity towards political reconciliation which includes inclusiveness in his administration," he said.

International Islamic University Malaysia law professor Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod said Umno's decision on Monday (Oct 26) to continue its support of Perikatan Nasional was a crucial step towards a ceasefire.

"Umno is toning down the heat and allowing for a cooling down period.

"The rejection to work with Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or DAP also puts to rest Anwar's claims of having the support to form a new government," he said.

He said that lawmakers realise that jeopardising the government or scuttling the budget would only lead to a much larger crisis, particularly in the midst of uncertainties due to the pandemic.

"The ceasefire will hold for the time being to allow the government to focus on fighting the pandemic and recovering the economy.

"This is because politicians are aware that the people are fed up with their politicking and are more worried about their livelihoods," he said.

He expects politicking to resume once the Covid-19 situation eases within a year or so.

On Sunday (Oct 25), the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decided that there is no need to declare a state of emergency in the country.

Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah also reminded all politicians to immediately put a stop to all forms of politicking that could disrupt the stability of the country.

Sultan Abdullah also said that there was no need for MPs to continue their irresponsible actions that could disrupt the stability of the existing government.

Dewan Rakyat convenes on Nov 2 until Dec 10.

The government is scheduled to table Budget 2021 on Nov 6.

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