KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia is not expected to go to the polls for at least another year, under a historic bipartisan deal signed between the government and main opposition bloc Pakatan Harapan (PH) on Monday (Sept 13) that paves the way for political stability and institutional reforms.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, accompanied by several members of his administration, inked the deal with PH, led by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim, at a signing ceremony in Malaysia’s Parliament, hours after the Lower House sat for the first time under Datuk Seri Ismail’s administration.
Mr Ismail said in a statement that the deal, which is called the Memorandum of Understanding for Transformation and Political Stability, covered six main areas.
Among the key areas of reform is to transform administration, empower Parliament and strengthen the independence of the judiciary, Mr Ismail said.
“The ‘Malaysian Family’ spirit stresses unity, camaraderie and togetherness. This has manifested itself in the MOU between the government and (Harapan) this evening,” he said.
The deal also outlines that Parliament will not be dissolved before August next year, meaning Malaysia will not face a general election for at least another year, said PKR’s communications director Fahmi Fadzil. This was also confirmed by several other opposition leaders.
Mr Fahmi said in a tweet in Bahasa Malaysia on Monday: “PH will remain as opposition. Parliament will not be dissolved before 31.7.2022.”
A Cabinet member, Federal Territories Minister Shahidan Kassim, said that part of the deal – also termed by some as a Confidence-and-Supply Agreement (CSA) – outlines that PH would abstain in any vote on key government Bills.
According to terms of the agreement reported by Malaysiakini, PH said it would back or abstain during budget and supply votes in Parliament only if Budget 2022 and other supply Bills had first been negotiated by both sides.
More details of the agreement are expected to be made public on Tuesday.
“The government is confident that this agreement will not only put aside all political differences, but enables national recovery to be done holistically and with inclusivity,” Mr Ismail said.
The government and PH announced that an accord had been reached on Sundayafter weeks of negotiations between the two sides.