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Umno and Pejuang, too, reject PM’s bipartisan proposal

Both parties describe Muhyiddin Yassin's proposal for a cross-party agreement as a form of bribery.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Pejuang and Umno appear to be on the same page, rejecting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s call on opposition parties to support him in exchange for carrying out reforms long fought for by the opposition.

Pejuang in a statement described Muhyiddin’s cross-party agreement offer as a form of bribery, saying it was a desperate attempt by the prime minister to remain in power.

“He has no right to make such an offer even if he has the legitimacy as prime minister, let alone after losing the support of the majority,” Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir said in a statement, hours after Muhyiddin dangled seven reforms which he said he would carry out in exchange for the commitment of opposition parties that they would not allow the government to collapse in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The stand was similar to that of Umno, whose president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi described Muhyiddin’s proposal as an open act of bribery.

Zahid, who himself is facing multiple charges of bribery and corruption, said Muhyiddin’s offer was also an admission that he had lost the legitimacy to remain in the top post.

Muhyiddin in a speech this evening had listed seven items in a proposal for a cross-party agreement to avoid a collapse of the government which he said risked a power vacuum that could be filled by “kleptocrats” while disrupting efforts to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among others, he pledged to channel equal allocations of funds to all MPs across the political divide, enact an anti-hopping law, limit the prime minister’s tenure in office, and ensure a balanced representation of MPs from the government and opposition in the Special Parliamentary Select Committee.

Muhyiddin also promised to implement Undi18 to allow those who reach 18 years of age to vote at the next general election, which he pledged to call by the end of July next year subject to the Covid-19 situation.