Political stability must be priority in new unity govt, says Ideas

PETALING JAYA: Political stability must be a priority in the new unity government to restore public trust in the country’s democratic institutions, says a Malaysian independent think tank.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) CEO Dr Tricia Yeoh said that a mutually binding agreement between all supporting coalition members in the new unity government was vital to prevent another political crisis from occurring.

“We stress the importance of assuring the public that this arrangement is here to stay for its full term in office, with a built-in mechanism within the coalition agreement to confirm as such.

“The political instability of the past two-and-a-half years must be quickly reversed if we are to plan for rapid economic recovery,” she said in a statement Thursday (Nov 24).

Yeoh stressed that addressing current economic issues should be the next major priority for the unity government in preparation for future expected economic problems after political stability is guaranteed.

“Managing inflation rates, strengthening the Ringgit, improving social safety nets, providing targeted assistance to lower income groups and management of public debt in line with the respective electoral manifestos must be given immediate attention to prepare the country for the widely expected economic recession in 2023.

“The country’s leadership must be prepared to steer us steadily in the right direction to withstand any economic shocks in the coming months,” she said, adding that Budget 2023 should be tabled before the end of 2022.

Yeoh also suggested a few recommendations to ensure a clean and effective government outside of the various reforms previously promised by the coalitions in the unity government.

“Ideas proposes that the new government keeps a much leaner Cabinet composition, perform strict and regular due diligence upon its ministerial portfolios, as well as refrain from committing excessive political appointments onto government-linked companies (GLCs) or federal statutory bodies (FSBs) to reduce the likelihood of corruption,” she said.

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