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“Acceptance of “Gang of Four” has ended the reforms of Anwar government” – Ramasamy

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COMMENT BY PROF DR.P.RAMASAMY,
FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG

Acceptance of “Gang of Four” has ended the reforms of Anwar government

What reform agenda are we talking about when the whole idea of winning over the opposition MPs is predicated on getting the numbers?

In other words, we are not talking about the reform agenda of the Madani government under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim but a government that wants a brute majority at any costs.

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Presently, the government has 147 MPs, 81 from PH, the result from BN, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (20), Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (6), Warisan (3) and eight others including those who defected from Bersatu have pledged their support for Anwar.

Although the PH-BN coalition has more than simple majority support of 25 MPs, the PH coalition, the bedrock of the present government, might not be in a strong position. The fear of defections seems perennial among the ranks of the government.
The support from outside the coalition makes the coalition very vulnerable and shaky.

Of all the persons, Anwar knows the best; he is fully aware that anything could happen anytime in the mercurial world of Malaysian politics.

The political conspiracies and betrayals are too well known in Malaysian politics.

The inducement of the four Bersatu MPs might not have anything to do with getting government allocations for their respective constituencies.

There are rumours that there maybe others who want to join the “Gang of Four”.

I further understand that the motivation of the four to join the unity government might have to with promises of appointments in government linked companies, financial rewards to settle their debts and other lucrative and profitable attractions.

Even if these defections might not be seen in contradiction with the prevailing anti-hopping law, the idea of beefing up the strength of the present ruling coalition by bringing into the fold of these four MPs is an abhorrent idea.

What reform agenda are we taking about when the government of the day with promises of reforms engaging in the age-old nefarious practice of pinching opposition MPs.

The defection also reminds us that the opposition might not be too different to the government of the day considering some of its MPs could be easily bought or sold.

It further reminds us that the present opposition that it is not enough to engage in the 3Rs, but must mount quality opposition to the present government.

The PN opposition needs to be reminded that it had opposed some of the provisions of the anti-hopping law before it was passed in the Parliament.

For the government of Anwar to accept the four defectors to be seated in the Parliament on the side of the ruling coalition is not a victory but a shame and nightmare that might be repeated.

It doesn’t matter whether the four members had contravened the anti-hopping law or not. In fact, I think that the defection but not the resignation fits in very well with the substantive provisions of the anti-hopping law.

But the much lauded reform Madani government ought to know better.

Why accept the defectors in the first place?

Isn’t some other noble ways to strengthen the government already strained by weak economy, plummeting of the ringgit against the US currency, food shortage and others.

What guarantee is there that current MPs with the government might not turn the tables in the near future.

A government that doesn’t address the domestic concerns of the rakyat with or without a majority support is a shaky government politically.

Even if there are more MPs from Bersatu are waiting for their turn to join the ranks of the government by defection not resignation, isn’t it a moral imperative for the government to reject them.

Shouldn’t Anwar send a strong message that the government is not willing to accept the crossovers. The defection might strengthen the government, but I am not sure it will enhance the quality and durability of the administration.

Accepting the defections from Bersatu doesn’t augur well for the longevity of the Madani government.

It will render mockery of the anti-hopping legislation that required such a time-consuming process to be passed in the Parliament.

All of a sudden politicians have found loopholes in the legislation so that they could wiggle out to satisfy their greed. The defection of the four MPS or the infamous “Gang of Four” have not enhanced the image of the government.

On the contrary, the obnoxious move has cast aspersions on the government and the leadership of Anwar.

Perhaps such an episode has finally nailed the coffin of the reform agenda of the Madani government of Anwar.