KUALA LUMPUR (SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), Barisan Nasional (BN), Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), United Sabah Party (PBS) and the Homeland Solidarity Party (STAR) jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) before the first parliamentary sitting on May 18 after the Perikatan Nasional (PN) alliance took over the federal administration.
The MoU's primary objective was to affirm PN's number of parliamentary seats.
There have been guesses about the actual number of PN's seats and how solid the cooperation among its component parties is, ever since it took over the federal administration in February.
Given the fact the way PN captured Putrajaya was unacceptable to many, even if legally speaking the government is lawful, many feel that it is morally not justifiable as it works contrary to the voters' will.
If PN is unable to show that the alliance is indeed united, the stability of the new government will be at stake. Against such a backdrop, it is utterly essential for PN parties to put aside their differences and display to outsiders their solidarity.
The King said in the opening address of Monday's (May 18) parliamentary sitting that he was convinced Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had the support of majority of parliamentarians to form the government, and this further affirmed the ruling status the PN alliance.
Although PN only has three seats more than Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat, the current situation is highly favourable to the ruling alliance, as the opposition remains disunited.
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim have announced their renewed cooperation but this would hardly excite their supporters.
Moreover, the government's recent performance in containing the coronavirus outbreak has given the PN alliance a major boost.
The five principal objectives drafted by the PN - upholding the federal constitution, sovereignty of the Malay Rulers, Rukun Negara, and protecting the well-being of all Malaysians irrespective of race and religion - have underscored PN's aspiration to preserve political and national stability within the federal constitution framework.
This shows that PN is willing to adopt a more moderate middle path in accommodating the needs of all Malaysians not along racial or religious lines.
This also shows that PN is displaying a certain degree of political maturity in defending the welfare of the rakyat (people) upon the basis of equality.
The MoU will help eliminate the negative perception Malaysians have on the PN alliance. Although the grouping is still dominated by the Malays, it will continue to take care of all Malaysians, including those in East Malaysia.
That said, it remains to be seen whether the MoU is a binding document and whether the pledges made will stand the test of time.
Very often political alliances are forged out of the need to advance the constituents' respective benefits. The same goes for both PH and PN.
Even though PH used to enjoy a comfortable majority in the Parliament, the coalition collapsed as a consequence of internal squabble.
As for PN, it only manages a wafer-thin majority, and we will see whether mutual trust among the parties is strong enough and whether an alliance rushed into being out of interests will last long.
Sin Chew Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 news media organisations.