KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Upko is not keen for a snap general election but wants Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to continue till the end of the term by by coming to a deal with the Opposition.
Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the Prime Minister should also lift the Emergency as the movement control order has been lifted in most states with the exception of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang.
Speaking to reporters through an online press conference on Thursday (Feb 18), Madius said holding a general election was not a good option as last year’s Sabah snap polls had sparked the third wave of Covid-19 in the country.
As such, he said, priority should be given towards the economy and stability of the country following the Covid-19 pandemic that has left thousands of people jobless.
Madius said it was important that Parliament and all state assemblies convene as there was a need to build real political stability on cross-party agreements.
Disclosing that Upko had sent an open letter to the Prime Minister on Feb 16, Madius said the party had asked Muhyiddin to seek an inter-party political settlement to replace the Jan 12 Emergency declaration as the basis for his government’s continuity.
“Upko will be the first to support Muhyiddin in leading a bold move to seek cross-party reconciliation for real political stability.
“Let’s work together to enable Malaysia’s best response in pandemic management and economic recovery, ” said the Tuaran MP, adding that the question of commanding the majority in Parliament should not arise through a unity government.
Upko, Madius said, understood Muhyiddin’s predicament but assured him that the best “democratic and sustainable solution” was through a political ceasefire between the government and the Opposition.
Madius said the ceasefire should be on a Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA) that would allow the government to govern without paranoia of being overthrown by the Opposition.
He said the Opposition should also provide legislative oversight and policy inputs through an inclusive and mature policy-making process.
“This ceasefire can even last till June 16,2023, the date the Parliament stands automatically dissolved, so that YAB Tan Sri can focus on the pandemic and economy for the rest of the 14th Parliament’s term, ” Madius said quoting the letter he sent to the Prime Minister.
Under the CSA, he said, there should be full functioning Parliament and state legislatures without any administrative obstacles in the name of pandemic, with virtual or hybrid sitting introduced when necessary.
Madius said he will discuss the matter with opposition Pakatan Harapan and Parti Warisan Sabah to pursue his party’s plan for a unity government.
“Upko shares the aspiration of all Malaysians for political stability to combat a pandemic and economic recession but this can only be pursued through genuine cross-party collaboration facilitated by a functioning and empowered parliament, ” he added.
However, he said suspending the parliamentary government as it is under the Emergency or forming a unity government with no Opposition would only encourage mismanagement, corruption and power abuse.
The press conference was also attended by Upko deputy president Senator Donald Mojuntin and Upko vice-president Datuk Ewon Benedick, who is Kadamaian assemblyman.