Umno info chief: Putrajaya-Pakatan MoU doesn’t mean party accepts Anwar, DAP, Bersatu

Umno info chief: Putrajaya-Pakatan MoU doesn’t mean party accepts Anwar, DAP, Bersatu

Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan is pictured at the 2020 Umno annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur March 27, 2021. — Photo by Hari Anggara.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan today reaffirmed his party’s rejection of DAP and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, saying this was unchanged by the bipartisan deal between the government and the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

On Facebook, he said the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed yesterday was strictly to ensure the stability of the current administration and not a political realignment.

“What was said during the Umno general assembly was not just ‘no DAP, no Anwar’ for GE15. There was also no PPBM (Bersatu). If there are any policy changes, it can only be made at the general assembly or by Umno’s supreme council.

“This (MoU) is not a collaboration to share power with PH, it is far from that. It is for political stability in the unique situation we are in now; for now, nothing more, nothing less than that,” he said.

He said the scepticism between the ruling parties and the Opposition has not disappeared overnight, and each side would now observe the other even more closely.

“There is still room for PH to not honour its promise to help the government, so I strongly agree with Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah who reminded the government to be cautious.

“It is not a licence to be comfortable in power, and assume that we won’t be criticised or opposed,” he said.

Shahril said that the country and Malaysians will benefit from the MoU through policies implemented and political stability it can achieve, but Umno now has the advantage as the current government is Umno led.

“Let PH representatives elaborate on their agendas, it remains unclear if they want to be seen as mature, or willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the people or any other narrative.

“But from an Umno and BN standpoint, we are in the advantageous position as we lead the government. If others want to support the Umno administration for their own reasons and rationalise their demands, we can manage it to our own advantage as well,” he said.

He added that some of the latest institutional reforms were also being championed by Umno representatives, such as former deputy speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said who has proposed a Private Member’s Bill to provide for recall elections.

“Previously, the question of reform was often used by PH, but this time Umno could be more forthrward in pioneering it,” he said.

Yesterday, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah repeated his appeal for bipartisan support towards efforts to revive an ailing economy and fight the pandemic after opening the First Meeting of the Fourth Term of the 14th Parliament.

Throughout the royal address, the Agong emphasised on the need to channel resources to help the people and businesses, and advised the government to spend “appropriately” on healthcare, aid and support to get businesses back open.

Following that, the federal government and the PH coalition signed a historic MoU to ink their bipartisan cooperation, ushering in a period of political stability and to work on economic recovery efforts for the greater good.

Dubbed the “Memorandum of Understanding on Political Stability and Transformation”, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the bipartisan cooperation — the first in the country’s history — was in line with the royal decree outlined by His Majesty earlier where all parties needed to practice “deliberative democracy”.

A deliberative democracy is a form of democracy where deliberation is central to decision-making.

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