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Malaysian PM, opposition leader ink co-op deal

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Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob (R) and representatives of the opposition, led by Anwar Ibrahim (2nd L), signed the agreement in parliament. AFP

Malaysian PM, opposition leader ink co-op deal

Malaysia's new government on September 13 signed an agreement to cooperate with the opposition in exchange for a promise of reforms, a bid to bring stability after intense political turbulence.

Less than a month after taking office following the collapse of his predecessor’s short-lived government, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has extended an olive branch to his rivals.

The new administration’s arrival has lowered the political temperature – at least in the short term – and fuelled hopes that officials will be able to focus on fighting a serious coronavirus outbreak.

Ismail Sabri and representatives of the opposition, led by Anwar Ibrahim, signed the agreement in parliament, as the legislature convened on September 13 for the first time since the new premier took power.

The premier said in a statement that his administration and the Pakatan Harapan (Pact of Hope) opposition alliance had made “national history” with the deal.

It covers areas including fighting Covid-19, parliamentary reform, ensuring judicial independence, among other things, and is aimed at helping to “put aside political differences”, the statement said.

Ismail Sabri has only a slim majority in parliament, and the deal will help to shore up his support.

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