PETALING JAYA: Political parties across the divide believe the Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) initiative in politics will put the country in a stronger position to fight the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The consensus reached between the government and the Opposition would present a united front in the nation’s battle against the pandemic, said MCA spokesperson Chan Quin Er.
This fully exemplified the Keluarga Malaysia spirit conceptualised by the Prime Minister, while also paying full observance to the call by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for all parties to work together, she said.
“Simply put, the consensus reached was an important milestone and direction for all parties to put aside destructive politicking and prioritise fighting the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said in a statement yesterday.
In a meeting on Wednesday between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and leaders of Pakatan Harapan, they reached a consensus on various issues including ways to strengthen the function of Parliament as a check and balance on the executive.
A joint statement, signed by Ismail Sabri, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, said the meeting focused on finding a common ground in addressing the Covid-19 crisis, saving lives and helping those people affected by unemployment and income loss.
“We also agreed on the importance of judicial independence, institutional reforms and good governance to ensure a more conducive situation for the people and the nation in the context of Keluarga Malaysia,” it said.
Ismail Sabri was appointed Prime Minister after securing the support of 114 MPs following Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s resignation as premier on Aug 16.
Chan said MCA had also endorsed these values many times in the past, and that even within the check-and-balance relationship shared by the government and the Opposition, parties could still work together on people-centric issues.
“For example, a consensus can be reached by fighting as a united front against the pandemic, protecting people’s lives, ensuring people’s livelihoods, strengthening the parliamentary institution, enhancing the independence of the judiciary and implementing good policies.
“Undoubtedly, these are the matters that the rakyat voted for; matters that will benefit all Malaysians,” she said.
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the consensus reached between Ismail Sabri and Pakatan leaders to cooperate in solving the nation’s problems was a start to a positive new era.
“Malaysian politics can no longer follow the old ways. The new paradigm in the practice of our democracy must be more flexible, open and progressive.
“The prejudice towards the Opposition must end and so too the negative perception towards the government must change.
“They are all important partners in having a flourishing democracy and better governance,” he said in a statement.
Mohamed Khaled also hoped that the big step initiated by the Prime Minister would be followed with actions that would be more inclusive from both sides.
Malaysia, he said, belonged to everyone.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan also agreed with the approach to have cross-party cooperation.
This approach, he said, was “a mature one” as it prioritised the well-being of the people.
“The steps taken are in line with the current political reality in the context of the administration of countries around the world where there is no dominance of a single political party after a general election is held,” he said in a statement.
Takiyuddin said PAS was confident that the government would continue to create more constructive cooperation involving all stakeholders, including the Opposition, towards reform measures covering all institutions and segments of society.
“We hope this will be a good start for a new political landscape in the country that emphasises on the well-being, harmony and justice for all citizens,” he added.
Upko Youth chief Felix Joseph Saang welcomed Pakatan’s proposal that all opposition parties work together in facing the next general election.
This would achieve a common agenda, which is to provide a solid alternative for the people, he said.
He said the Opposition must settle the differences among themselves before coming up with common policies and effective plans in taking the country forward.
“We do not have much time left as the election could be held anytime. We must be prepared and our grassroots must start acting now,” he said in a statement.
He said that it was “high time” for the Opposition parties to unite and act as one.
Upko Youth would remain steadfast in its stand to support the top leadership’s decision to work with parties that fight for multi-racial ideologies, he added.