Malaysia PM to sign cooperation agreement with opposition to extend support

FILE PHOTO: New Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob leaves after the inauguration ceremony, in Kuala Lumpur
FILE PHOTO: New Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri Yacoub leaves in Kuala Lumpur after the opening ceremony
FILE PHOTO: Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yakob shakes hands with a car as he leaves after the opening ceremony, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 21, 2021. Reuters/Lim Hui Teng/File photo

September 13, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yakob’s coalition and the main opposition faction will on Monday sign a cooperation agreement to ensure political stability during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a move that will bolster the premiership with any confidence vote. can help.

Ismail Sabri took office last month with a slim parliamentary majority, becoming the third prime minister in as many years, but the country’s constitutional monarch called on him to face a vote of confidence in parliament to prove majority support.

Parliament is to meet from Monday but no date has been fixed for the trust vote.

In a joint statement late Sunday, the government led by Anwar Ibrahim and representatives of the Paktan Harapan opposition bloc said they had agreed to focus on “change initiatives and reforms”.

“All parties have agreed that the objective of this MoU is to return political stability to the country to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the economy through bipartisan cooperation,” he said.

The deal comes after Ismail Sabri offered to introduce political reforms on Friday. To win opposition support for his leadership, to prevent defection and to limit the term of a prime minister to 10 years.

His proposal also included: bipartisan settlement on every bill to be introduced in Parliament, input from opposition parties on a National Recovery Council and an immediate lowering of the minimum voting age from 21 to 18. He also said that the same will be given to the opposition leader. Remuneration and Privileges as a Cabinet Minister.

Malaysia has seen political instability since its election defeat in 2018 by the United Malaysian National Organization (UMNO), which ruled for more than 60 years since independence, due to widespread corruption allegations.

Since then two governments have fallen and the appointment of Ismail Sabri has restored the role of premiership to UMNO.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latif and A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Michael Perry)

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