UMNO has announced that the political ceasefire with Pakatan Harapan (PH) will not be extended once the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Transformation and Political Stability inked between the federal government and Pakatan Harapan (PH) expires on 31 July.
This decision came after the party’s Supreme Council in its closed-door meeting chaired by president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on 14 April.
“It was decided yesterday that the MoU is only until 31 July and the council agreed that it shall not be extended.”
“If there are any changes, the council will discuss again,” Prime Minister Ismail Sabri was quoted saying by Malay Mail.
On 13 September 2021, Ismail Sabri, on behalf of the government, inked the MoU with PH component party leaders, namely PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the then DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
The MoU comprised 6 initiatives namely empowerment of Covid-19 plans, administrative transformation, parliamentary reforms, Malaysia Agreement MA63, judicial independence and the establishment of a steering committee.
Meanwhile, calls to end the truce with PH grew louder within UMNO’s ranks after the defeat of the government’s motion to extend a provision under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) by a bloc voting which was called by PH lawmakers.
Even before that incident, UMNO’s veterans, including party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had called for the government to end the MoU with PH after its landslide victory in the Melaka and Johor state election.
In addition, Zahid also suggested for the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is one of UMNO’s vice-presidents, to dissolve the Parliament to pave way for an early general election.
On 10 March, MoU consultative committee member Anthony Loke was reported as saying that the opposition is willing to further extend the MoU after its expiry date on 31 July.
Loke, who is the new DAP secretary-general, said the opposition has no issue extending the MoU, especially after the amendment to the federal constitution for the anti-party hopping bill, which is among the agenda agreed upon in the MoU, is passed.