04 June 2013

M'sian group pushes for 'unity government'

Kuching (The Star/ANN) - A reform movement has proposed the formation of a "unity government" between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to restore national understanding and unity which it claimed had taken a beating following the recent general election.

The Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) said the country had been "besieged with negatives" like street demonstrations and protests in the last one month.

"We are now a nation badly divided. Politics has torn the people asunder in a way never witnessed before," said Francis Paul Siah, the movement's coordinator.

He said Pakatan led by Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Razak's Barisan coalition should defuse the volatile political atmosphere by holding talks to form a "government of national reconciliation".

"I appeal to Najib and Anwar to lead Malaysians on the journey towards national reconciliation. Let the politics of conscience' be the guiding light and cast aside the politics of pride and ego," he said.

Stressing that it was not a case of Pakatan joining Barisan, but about Pakatan and Barisan coming together to form a new coalition government as partners, Siah said the details and intricacies of the new government such as the cabinet appointments could be sorted out.

"But at the outset, perhaps key positions could be organised in this manner.

"Najib is to remain as prime minister with Anwar as senior minister, holding the finance portfolio.

"(Tan Sri) Muhyiddin Yassin is Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) 1 and can continue at education. Lim Kit Siang is DPM 2 and also anti-corruption minister. DPM 3 is Hadi Awang who is also in charge of Islamic affairs.

"The other portfolios will be organised in a manner that where a Barisan representative is a minister, the deputy will be from Pakatan. The same guideline follows vice versa," he added.

Referring to recent events which he termed as worrying, he said it was disappointing to note politicians from both sides of the political divide no longer sitting down and talking, choosing instead to run to the media to get their messages across or to badmouth one another.

Worse still, the people challenging the election results and expressing their dissatisfaction over electoral discrepancies were taking to the streets, he added.

"We now seem to be a people who enjoy taking part in street demonstrations and public protests.

"Why, do we seriously believe we can create an Arab Spring' here in Malaysia? Let's get real. We are still Malaysians.

"What has become of us? Shouldn't we be ashamed of ourselves? Our behaviour of late is not something we can feel proud about," Siah said.

Though he felt that Anwar and Pakatan leaders had the right to challenge the polls results, staging street demonstrations and illegal protests, however, was not the answer.

In the May 5 elections, Barisan was returned to power but it suffered its worst electoral performance in history, winning only 133 seats against 140 in 2008.

Pakatan, on the other hand, which had earlier voiced its confidence of marching to Putrajaya, won 89 seats, seven more than in the previous general election. However, the Opposition refused to accept the results, claiming electoral discrepancies.

Siah said it was about time that politicians and their supporters stop indulging in "anything negative, either through words or deeds".

"We, the majority of Malaysians who are not politicians, must take a stand and make a decision.

"We must demand that they and their cohorts stop their public mudslinging, their accusations and counter-accusations at once. We must let them know that we have had enough of their nonsense over the past month," he said.

He said what Malaysians wanted was for politicians from Barisan and Pakatan to lead the way towards the change and transformation they had hoped for.


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