There is widespread misunderstanding of the CSR MOU that it meant DAP and PH now support the racialist, one-sided and divisive 2022 Budget when this is not the case

There is widespread misunderstanding of the confidence-supply-reform (CSR) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that it meant that DAP and Pakatan Harapan (PH) now support the racialist, one-sided and divisive 2022 Budget when this is not the case.

DAP and Pakatan Harapan leaders and MPs will continue to oppose the racism, injustices and discrimination of the 2022 budget, which does not reflect the “Keluarga Malaysia” concept advocated by Ismail Sabri.

I do not know how many Malacca voters had been misled and misguided by this misconception that there is now no difference between the government and the opposition, and that a vote for DAP and Pakatan Harapan was as good as a vote for the government parties.

It is the challenge of all DAP and Pakatan Harapan members and supporters to disabuse the people of this misconception.

What the CSR MOU has achieved is some political stability so that Ismail Sabri will not be toppled as the Prime Minister in the way Muhyiddin Yassin was toppled as the eighth Prime Minister, and whoever new Prime Minister who emerges from the political turmoil will be from among the Perikatan Nasional-Barisan Nasional nexus but not from the Pakatan Harapan as PH is unable to command a parliamentary majority to name a new Prime Minister.

Instead of the political instability and turmoil of the country searching for a 10th Prime Minister from within the PN-BN framework, the CSR MOU is to ensure a modicum of political stability whereby PH will not vote out the 2022 Budget which meant a vote of no confidence in Ismail Sabri as Prime Minister and his resignation, sending the country on a new spree looking for a new Prime Minister from PN-BN framework, in exchange for the Ismail Sabri promise to focus on bringing the Covid-19 pandemic under control to save lives and livelihoods.

When Ismail Sabri became Prime Minister on August 21, Malaysia had 1,535,286 Covid-19 cases and 13, 936 Covid-19 deaths.

If the crazy increase of Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths in Malaysia had not been ended, we might see on Sabri Ismail’s 100 days as ninth Prime Minister of Malaysia on Sunday the cumulative totals of five million Covid-19 cases and close to 100,000 Covid-19 deaths instead of 2.6 million Covid-19 cases and over 30,000 Covid-19 deaths.

When the country is faced with an existential threat piling up millions of Covid-19 cases and tens of thousands of Covid-19 fatalities, all Malaysians must put their differences aside to protect the lives, livelihoods and the national fabrics of Malaysian society.

This is why Pakatan Harapan insisted that there must be a RM45 billion allocation to save not only lives but livelihoods as a result of the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.

UMNO Youth leader, Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has said there is no certainty that the CSR MOU between Prime Minister Ismail Sabri and Pakatan Harapan will last until July next year.

Obviously, the UMNO leadership is pressing for the tearing up of the CSR MOU and for early 15th General Election to be held, believing its “landslide” victory and the momentum of the Malacca general election could lead to the restoration of UMNO as the largest political party in Parliament with the requisite majority to form the next government and top UMNO leaders being freed from corruption charges.

But will Ismail Sabri agree?

Apart from the dubious UMNO claim of a “landslide” Malacca General Election victory as UMNO did not even win additional one percent of the votes cast, and the emergence of Bersatu as a political force to be reckoned with, Ismail Sabri does not want to be the Prime Minister with the shortest tenure, shorter than that of Muhyiddin Yassin.

There is no guarantee that Ismail Sabri will be chosen to be appointed Prime Minister if UMNO wins a majority in the 15GE – in fact, Najib Razak is working very hard to rehabilitate himself and return as the 10th Prime Minister of Maaysia after the 15 GE.

Ismail Sabri is no reformer, but the only way he could avoid ending up as the Prime Minister with the shortest tenure in Malaysia is to uphold the CSR MOU and drag out the 15GE until 2023.

Malaysia is in new and uncertain political waters, seeking to find a new political equilibrium from the mould for half a century where one political party, UMNO, could exercise political hegemony. How will it end?

(Speech by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang at a DAP dialogue in Kulai on Saturday, 27th November 2021 at 5 pm)

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