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What reforms, Syed Saddiq asks Kit Siang after appeal to stay with PH

The Muda president gives a laundry list of 'false promises' and maintains that his party will go solo at the upcoming elections.

Staff Writers
3 minute read
Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman speaks to reporters after a government convention at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, May 14. Photo: Bernama
Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman speaks to reporters after a government convention at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, May 14. Photo: Bernama

Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman today questioned the extent to which reforms have been implemented by the coalition government, amid calls for him to re-evaluate his party's decision to go solo at the upcoming state elections. 

Responding to one such appeal by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, he gave a list of what he described as "false promises". 

"GLC positions are still being treated as political rewards for obedient political elites. There is no Political Funding Act, no two-term limit for the prime minister, no separation between the prime minister's portfolio and the finance minister (not just that, the PM today also holds the portfolio of federal territories minister and sits on the Pardons Board).

"There are no equal allocations for MPs. Major monopolies and concessions are still being extended. Oppressive laws are still in place, and worse, they are even proposed to be strengthened by this government. The list of false promises is never-ending," he said in a statement. 

Youth-based party Muda recently said that it would contest the state elections in Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu under its own banner despite previously cooperating with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. 

Lim yesterday said that it should reconsider its decision, urging it not to be "hasty" and saying that it should cooperate with the government at the elections to come. 

But Syed Saddiq, Muda's only MP in the Dewan Rakyat, said that issues remained to be addressed. 

"Until today, the so-called reformists are silent on the demand for a pardon, the indefinite postponement of the deputy prime minister's criminal charges, and major scandals like the RM11.2 billion defence procurement for LCS," he said, referring to the littoral combat ship scandal.

"I am not here to play judge, jury, and executioner. But please don't scream 'rule of law' before elections, only to cower when in power.

"Even the defence of the integrity of the judiciary is half-hearted. Our judges are being attacked, yet many in power choose to remain silent. Enough is enough."

Thanking Lim for his advice, he added that Muda's decision to strike out on its own was neither hasty nor a sign that it was unwilling to cooperate with the government. 

He said the party's leadership had in fact sent three letters to the government asking for a meeting. 

"Not only were we left hanging, we were even ridiculed when the secretary-general of PH responded by saying that he had no time to read our letters," he said. 

"This was despite the fact that his office initially agreed to a date beforehand but cancelled once again at the last minute."

He said he had personally tried reaching out to Anwar and his officers on many occasions but received no response. 

"We weren't asking for luxurious GLC posts like many in the government today. We weren't asking for contracts," he said. 

"We merely wanted a meeting so that we could propose a way forward to build a truly multiracial, multi-religious, moderate, and reform-centred Malaysia."

Acknowledging that the road ahead would be difficult for Muda, Syed Saddiq nonetheless said that the party would "tough it out". 

"New politics for a new Malaysia," he added.