One team for state polls

KUALA LUMPUR: The unity government secretariat has agreed to work as one team, especially in facing the looming state polls, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“This is a positive move because of the consensus and commitment by all parties, as well as our friends from Sabah and Sarawak, to ensure that we are a team,” the Prime Minister told a press conference at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur last night.

Anwar said they had also agreed to form three committees to strengthen communication strategies and seat negotiations for the state polls, and to monitor politics and government agenda.

The Prime Minister said the committee on seat negotiations would ensure that all parties in the unity government worked as one to discuss issues on the state polls, particularly seat allocations, and to focus on efforts to ensure they had firm ground.

Earlier, Anwar chaired the secretariat meeting which was attended by top leaders of parties such as Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) parliament whip and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, among others.

Anwar said the communication strategy committee was needed for the present government to address extreme slander.

He cited the recent Quran burning incident in Sweden as an example where religious leaders had claimed the government was silent.

“We issued a statement condemning the act. The Foreign Ministry summoned the Swedish ambassador and one million copies of the Quran were distributed immediately around the world,” Anwar pointed out.

“This is why this committee is needed.”

He said the committee to monitor political developments and government agenda would look into public views on election manifestos of the parties under the unity government.

“They will also look into policies that are of priority such as the cost of living and ensuring cooperation between all races in all states,” said the Prime Minister.

On another matter, Anwar announced that he was the chairman of the secretariat and Fadillah the secretary-general.

He also said the head of parties under the unity government would be the deputy presidents in the secretariat.

Anwar also thanked Ahmad Zahid for hosting the meeting at Umno’s headquarters.

He said the secretariat meeting begun with a presentation by data science experts on the post-GE15 analysis.

“In terms of support, the unity government is the only coalition that represents all races in the country and this is an advantage to us,” he added.

The unity government is supported by Pakatan Harapan’s 82 MPs, followed by Barisan Nasional’s 30, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah six, GPS’ 23, Warisan’s three, two independent MPs and one each from Parti KDM, Muda and PBM.

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