Will the ‘Perak model’ bring an end to Emergency?

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Will the ‘Perak model’ bring an end to Emergency?

Will the ‘Perak model’ bring an end to Emergency?

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional are looking at the “Perak model” of cooperation between the government and the opposition, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong continues to meet party leaders, party insiders say.

A PN insider said they are hoping for “an understanding” with Umno and the opposition to ride the political storm, without having to change the government.

“The difference is that the Perak model saw the menteri besar being replaced. But it is also a model where the opposition and the governing MPs came to an understanding,” he told FMT.

After former menteri besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu was unseated and Saarani Mohamad took over in Perak, a deal was struck where all state assemblymen would be treated fairly with equal allocations and would cooperate to ensure that the government could remain stable to solve the Covid-19 pandemic and economic issues.

The insider said they are looking at two main issues to come to this type of understanding.

The first is to propose giving out annual allocations to opposition MPs and to invite them to sit in National Security Council (MKN) meetings.

“The opposition is angry for not receiving allocations. We cannot be following what Umno did previously and deprive the opposition of their annual allocations,” he said, adding that the MPs needed money to help the rakyat during these hard times.

Another major issue that needs to be addressed was the secrecy of MKN meetings while Covid-19 infections continue to rise.

“We are proposing that the opposition attend the meetings so they know what the government is doing, and what is the status of the vaccination programme.

“But if any information on the meetings is leaked, action will be taken,” he said.

The insider said these are the issues being looked into to get both sides of the coalition to cooperate to battle Covid-19.

The PN insider said that as of now “it’s an aye” for the Sarawak state elections to be held this year as the state government plans to achieve 80% vaccinations and herd immunity by the end of August.

But he said there was still no certainty if the Pahang state assembly sitting, scheduled from Aug 16 to 20, would go on.

“It will all depend if the King decides to extend or end the Emergency,” he said.

The insider also said the government is looking at hybrid Parliament sittings, but to be held for a shorter term instead of the full six weeks.

Another PN leader said some ministers have been pushing to extend the Emergency until the end of the year to restrict movements and reduce the Covid-19 numbers.

“Perhaps we can open Parliament for a week or two to discuss Budget 2021,” he said.

A PH insider, meanwhile, said they did not want the Emergency to be extended.

He said opposition MPs would rather sit in Parliament to debate current issues than sit in at MKN meetings as the latter decisions will mostly be made by the government.

“If they make a wrong decision, we will have to share the blame. But we would like to give our views in Parliament,” he said.

However, he said it is not known if the MPs would still push for a motion of no confidence against the prime minister if Parliament sits.

“There may still be some old timers who will push for a motion of no confidence,” he added.

He said some political parties may agree to the “Perak model” as the nation needs to move forward.

“But we will wait for an announcement from the Palace, with the hope that Parliament reconvenes, the Emergency ends, and the vaccination programme is rolled out on time.”

He said it was clear that the government had failed in handling the health crisis and that measures to ramp up vaccinations were needed.

“Imagine, the King has to interfere because the government has failed to run the country well,” he added

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Will the ‘Perak model’ bring an end to Emergency?

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