PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, in detailing the reasons for his meeting with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday, stressed the importance of questions the opposition bloc was raising, citing valid concerns over the government’s handling of the Covid 19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.
Pakatan Harapan, said Anwar, has urged Muhyiddin to convene an urgent parliament sitting to table matters pertaining to the nation’s battle with Covid 19, in order to streamline non-partisan efforts as well as to ensure transparency and integrity of actions, especially in the disbursement of government funds.
He cited concerns raised by a number of Pakatan Harapan leaders over the questionable awarding of contracts to supply equipment and aid during the current crisis, which was conveyed to Muhyiddin.
“These are serious concerns. There are instances where it was found that these contracts were awarded directly resulting in unrealistic hikes in costs. Then there is also the matter of aid not reaching the needy.
“Yes, we are facing a terrible crisis, but this does not mean we should allow certain people to take advantage in order to ‘build a palace on a grave site’,” said Anwar.
“This is why we must persist. We are being accused of playing politics while the country is in crisis, but I have to tell these people that we cannot allow such things to happen. This is not politicking,” he added.
On his daily Facebook live address, Anwar chided certain quarters who deemed his meeting with Muhyiddin, the leader of a political coup that installed the Perikatan Nasional government last month, as the opposition leader legitimising the government.
“I don’t neeed to respond to such claims. My meeting was to discuss our (Pakatan Harapan’s) stand on issues related to the nation. It was conducted in a friendly manner, as we are old friends. But that does not mean we deviate from our stand,” said Anwar.
Pakatan Harapan leaders have repeatedly called for Muhyiddin to expedite the parliament sitting to verify the RM25 billion stimilus package announced by the government last month as well as to streamline efforts for the nation to tackle Covid 19 on a united front.
However, fears within the Muhyiddin camp over a possible confidence vote to oust him from the Prime Ministership via parliament and the evident question marks over the legitimacy of the Perikatan Nasional government, have seen such calls ignored with even the parliament sitting scheduled for May 18 looking uncertain.
“This is what I stressed in the meeting with Muhyiddin. We (Pakatan Harapan) are putting aside all this. It is now time to focus on the nation’s interest. We are facing a crisis and we need a special parliament sitting to iron out these matters and move forward. He fears that Pakatan Harapan might use this to table a no confidence vote. So, I have assured him, given him my word that this will not happen,” said Anwar.
“Taking power is not the most important thing right now. Right now, there are serious matters of the nation to discuss, to find solutions to and we need to devise measures to protect the nation, together.”
Anwar said what Muhyiddin needs to do is make some changes to the requirements to allow for a special sitting and this does not require the entire 222-seat Dewan Rakyat to be convened.
“We can all have our own meetings and have representatives of each party present. The whole parliament does not have to be present. He can make these provisions,” said Anwar.