Don’t blame Umno-Pas for lack of reforms

Don’t blame Umno-Pas for lack of reforms

PETALING JAYA: The Umno-Pas rhetoric on race and religion was dismissed as a stumbling block for Pakatan Harapan to carry out its promised reform agenda.

“Umno and PAS will say anything to oppose the government of the day,” said Human Rights Watch (HRW) deputy director for Asia, Phil Robertson.

“It is their zero sum game to prevent progressive reforms and a successful government,” added Robertson during a question and answer session.

Instead of the opposition, it was the lack of political will on the part of Pakatan Harapan which led to the lack of reforms, he said.

He was speaking at a joint review entitled “Pakatan Harapan Reform Agenda: One Year On” by Amnesty International Malaysia and HRW.  Amnesty was represented by its executive director, K Shamini Darshni.

Earlier on Robertson credited the Pakatan Harapan government for creating a world record in relation to the Rome Statute.

“A new world record was created when Malaysia joined and withdrew at a record pace. UN lawyers in New York are working around the clock to understand that,” he said.

He also said that the decision made Malaysia a laughing stock.

“Now it will be difficult for Malaysia to raise issues like the Rohingya of Myanmar and Palestine.”

Instead of pulling out he said that the federal government should have ratified the conventions with exemptions on certain provisions.

He also revealed that some politicians within the ruling coalition equated the situation on the Malay ground as “Rwanda”.

“There is a fear of public opinion on the Malay ground since only the opposition voices are heard as if the entire Malay ground are against the government.

On the issue of whether Pakatan Harapan should be given a leeway since it is just one year both Robertson and Shamini disagreed.

“Most reforms are made in the first year when. people expect the most,” he said.

“One year is not short. It takes a will, a cabinet decision.  Political will is what is lacking now.”

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