KUCHING: The government must set in motion concrete institutional reforms and economic revival policies now that a consensus has been reached with the Opposition, says Sarawak Pakatan Harapan.
Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said this would restore public confidence in the nation's political system and save lives and the economy in the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Sarawak Pakatan is unanimous in our view that the meeting of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob with Pakatan leaders Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu is a positive political development," he said in a statement on Thursday (Aug 26).
The Prime Minister and Pakatan came to a consensus on working with each other to address Covid-19 and strengthen Parliament's function as a check and balance on the executive during an hour-long meeting in Putrajaya on Wednesday (Aug 25).
To curb the spread of Covid-19, Chong said the government must immediately implement mass testing and contact tracing, including making free testing available to everyone.
He said the new government must inject more funds to save the economy, businesses and employment affected by the pandemic.
"There must also be a mechanism formed to monitor the implementation of such allocation to ensure that it actually reaches the people and businesses," he said.
Chong, who is Sarawak DAP chairman, also called for the immediate implementation of Undi18 – the lowering of the voting age to 18 years – to acknowledge the role of young people in the nation's democracy.
In addition, he said an anti-party hopping law should be enacted to curb the practise in future.
"It is only when voters are assured that the winning candidates will not jump (to other) parties after being elected that they will have confidence in our electoral system and the desire to vote," he said.