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Malaysia's Prime Minister will sign a memorandum of understanding with the opposition


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Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob will sign a cooperation pact with the country's opposition, aimed at bolstering his support and putting an end to months of political unrest as the government grapples with a COVID-19 outbreak caused by the Delta variety.


Representatives from the government and opposition stated in a statement on Sunday evening that the deal would be signed at 5 p.m. (13:00 GMT) on Monday.

 

Malaysia's parliament convened for the first time on Monday after Ismail Sabri, a senior member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), gained control following Muhyiddin Yassin's resignation last month.


A constitutional monarch, King Al-Sultan Abdullah, has urged the new prime minister to hold a confidence vote to demonstrate his support, however no date has been established for the poll.

 

The monarch hailed the collaboration agreement as he opened the session, reminding MPs of their role as representatives of the people.


“I have received hundreds of letters from people who conveyed their problems and want to return to their usual lives soon,” the monarch said, according to state news agency Bernama.
“My advise to all MPs is not to jeopardise my country's and people's futures in order to achieve a specific agenda.”

 

The deal was aimed to promote political stability “in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild the economy via bipartisan cooperation,” according to the joint statement.


Ismail Sabri, the prime minister, announced a series of political reforms on Friday, including limiting the prime minister's term to ten years, working more closely with the opposition on legislation to ensure bipartisan agreement, and elevating the position of the opposition leader to the same rank and remuneration as a cabinet minister.

 

He also promised to lower the voting age to 18 — a law that parliament passed in 2019 but was never implemented.
A court ordered the government earlier this month to make the required constitutional adjustments so that the bill could take effect by the end of the year.

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