Hamzah: We will keep govt in check and also work together

KUALA LUMPUR: While the Opposition has vowed to scrutinise the government’s every policy and decision when Parliament convenes today, it says it will not turn the institution into a “zoo” and will even be willing to work together on certain issues.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the bloc understood that the government could not deliver on some promises and was willing to work together, but wanted to “formalise whatever issues and things that we are supposed to work for”.

Hamzah said among his priorities was to remind the Prime Minister of the pledges he had made and to make sure that he implements them.

“The most important thing for me is to ‘walk the talk’ and deliver what you promised.

“You cannot just promise and forget about it,” he said in an interview with The Star, adding that it was easy to make promises to the people.

“You have said this before, but now we are telling you now, we understand that you cannot deliver (on promises).

“So, the only way is to work together with us and formalise whatever issues and things we are supposed to work for.

“We should really sit down – whether you are from the government or the Opposition – and look forward to working together to develop the nation,” he said, adding that they were willing to set aside their differences.

During former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration, the government and then Opposition had formally inked a memorandum of understanding called the confidence and supply agreement to ensure political stability.

However, Hamzah said the trust had to be real and such a pact could not just be for optics.

“Since I have been struggling to make sure that the country is being developed into a nation that everyone is going to be proud of, I must also give my trust to the government of the day.

“But that does not mean that as the Opposition, I do not have the right to give my comments and question the government,” he said.

The Opposition bloc, he added, would continue to voice out on pressing issues and question the government as a form of check and balance, but he assured Malaysians that it would “maintain decorum (in Parliament)”.

“We are going to be an effective Opposition, and we are going to work for the people,” he said.

Asked how he felt about his new role on the Opposition bench, Hamzah, who is the former Home minister, said it was all about the struggle and giving back to the people of the country.

“The struggle is always about the people. I came from a poor family and I am a kampung boy.

“This is not about me, and I would like to see what I always do here is actually meant for the nation,” he said, adding that he would not only raise the people’s concerns but also give constructive ideas to the government.

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