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  • Farah Salim

Upko: Greater federal-states collab necessary for new political paradigm

Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau

18 Aug 2021

By Farah Salim

KOTA KINABALU: The United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) asserted that greater inter-governmental collaboration between Putrajaya and the states is necessary so that a new political paradigm can be introduced.

Its president Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau stressed that the Klang Valley-centered ‘one-size-fits-all’ governance paradigm must be buried together with the winner-takes-all politics and that states especially Sabah and Sarawak must be given more say in the direction of national policies.

"The New Government must be visionary enough to introduce a new paradigm of the federal-state shared rule on health, economy and also beyond.

"While the one-size-fits-all approach is doomed to fail in most fields as the world gets more complex, its failure in the fight against Covid-19 is more damaging," he said in a statement today.

According to Madius, what is needed is the Confidence and Supply Agreements (CSAs) that the government coalition or its dominant party sign with the opposition parties.

This would ensure the Government's survival on the votes of confidence, no-confidence, budget and royal speeches in exchange for fair treatment of the opposition and due consideration of opposition’s views in lawmaking and policymaking.

"I strongly support the 10-point ‘Cross-party Political Stability Pact’ proposed by Bersih 2.0, ABIM, Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) and Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).

"This package is much more comprehensive and well thought out than Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s seven-point reform package made on 13 July. One glaring omission in Muhyiddin’s package is nothing about decentralisation."

The civil society’s package starts with “a tripartite Federal-State Council (FSC) on Health and Economy consisting of equal numbers of members from Federal Government, Federal Opposition and the 13 State Governments, assisted by top bureaucrats, the military chief, police chiefs and experts from academia and civil society.

The MP for Tuaran said this should be set up to coordinate key decisions on pandemics and the economy, similar to how the National Security Council (NSC) functions under the Emergency.

All parties should recognise that fighting the pandemic and reviving the economy requires many difficult decisions that require the support of both opposition parties and state governments, he added.

"Decentralisation is needed, not only for Sabah and Sarawak but also for all 11 other states in Malaya and the three Federal Territories.

"It is not enough to have only inter-party collaboration at the Federal Level between the government and opposition," he stated.

Therefore, Madius said the proposed FSC on health and economy can be a good experiment and if it works, this can pave the way for an Intergovernmental Committee 2.0 to negotiate a Malaysia Agreement 1963 Plus and further re-structure the power and relationship between the Federation and Sabah and Sarawak, and also further Malayan states.

"I will propose this FSC to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership as part of our governance programme and I hope my brothers and sisters in Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to do the same to the Perikatan Nasional (PN)."


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