Details of Malaysia's bipartisan deal

The Malaysian government led by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the main opposition Pakatan Harapan bloc led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim inked a historic bipartisan agreement on Monday.

Here are its main points:

MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING

1 The government will not propose the dissolution of Parliament before July 31 next year.

2 The government will do its best to fulfil each transformation proposal within the timeframe agreed by both sides.

3 To reciprocate, PH agrees to:

  • support or abstain in Parliament in the vote on Budget 2022 (to be unveiled on Oct 29), after mutual agreement on its content.
  • support or abstain in any government proposal or Bill, where failure for it to pass will be seen as a form of no-confidence vote on the government. The proposal or Bill will first have to be agreed by the government and PH.

4 Both sides agree that the deal does not prevent PH from playing its check-and-balance role.

GOVERNMENT STEPS

The following are steps the government agreed to undertake.

1 Transforming the Administration

  • introduce a Bill to prevent MPs from hopping to another party.
  • hasten introduction of Bill to reduce voting age from 21 to 18, and allowing automatic voter registration.
  • limiting the term of the prime minister to 10 years. (All three must be fulfilled not later than the first parliamentary sitting next year).

2 Independence of the Judiciary

Judges must always be free from any interference.

3 Malaysia Agreement of 1963

All matters related to this, in which Sabah and Sarawak have equal status to Peninsular Malaysia, must be fulfilled.

4 Strengthening Covid-19 Plan

Matters covered here include having an additional outlay of RM45 billion (S$14.6 billion) for Covid-19 funds, taking the total to RM110 billion, and quicker purchase of six million extra vaccine doses.

(All must be fulfilled before the end of this year)

5 Parliamentary reform

Matters here include giving equal allocations to all government and opposition MPs.

Sources: MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT, PAKATAN HARAPAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2021, with the headline 'Details of Malaysia's bipartisan deal'. Subscribe