Pakatan 'inclined to agree' to MOU with the government on reforms

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan is "inclined to agree" to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government on the reforms proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Pakatan presidential council said its stance was in line to save people's lives and livelihoods, subject to more improvements to the draft of the MOU to be studied in detail by both sides before it is finalised.

"Let us combine all our strengths to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and overcome the economic difficulties in our country," the council said in a statement on Saturday (Sept 11).

The council had a meeting on Saturday to discuss the MOU with the government, where Pakatan had given its views and additional suggestions on the seven reforms announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday (Sept 10).

On Friday, Ismail Sabri said the Cabinet was committed to undertake several Parliament reforms, among them tabling a Bill to curb party hopping.

Ismail Sabri had said the offer to reform Parliament and the government administration includes lowering the voting age to 18, which he pledged to implement as soon as possible.

Other reforms the Cabinet agreed to include amending the Constitution to limit a prime minister's tenure to 10 years as well as to ensure equal representation in parliamentary select committees to include backbenchers and Opposition MPs.

The Prime Minister also proposed that the Opposition leader would be given the salary and amenities equivalent to a minister.

The MOU is the result of a meeting held between Ismail Sabri and the Pakatan top leadership including PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negatra president Mohamad Sabu on Aug 25.

A series of meetings were held between leaders from both the Opposition and those representing the Prime Minister.

Representing the Prime Minister were Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

Representing Pakatan were PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Amanah deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, national organising secretary Anthony Loke, DAP deputy chairman Gobind Singh Deo, PKR information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin and PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil.

The Pakatan presidential council said an additional RM45bil should be injected into the RM65bil Covid-19 fund, which now has a remainder of RM8.6bil to cope with the pandemic and to give financial aid to the people.

"Aside from that, there should be exemptions on interests in the bank moratorium for those in the B40 and M40 categories (low and middle income groups)," it said.

The council said it had also discussed political reforms to be included in the memorandum such as lowering the voting age to 18 immediately.

"Representatives also discussed the issue of the confidence vote and mechanism to monitor the implementation of the memorandum," it added.

The statement was jointly signed by Anwar, Mohamad and Lim.

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