KUALA LUMPUR – Today, the people of Malaysia have awoken to a new cabinet. Following the formation of the Bros Alliance, another surprise lies within the general election results.
The victorious party, Pakatan Alternatif (PA) has formed a coalition government with the former Bros Alliance, which has since been named Barisan Rational Orang Sabah Selangor and Straits Settlements (BROSSSSS) Alliance.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister, along with the rest of his cabinet today. Parliament House has also issued a press release, with a list of the new cabinet members (The Straits Times Malaysia, 1968).
Through their portfolio powers, members of the cabinet will be entitled to undertake executive action through issued directives. They will also be allowed to both draft and present legislation to Parliament.
After the swearing-in ceremony, cabinet convened to discuss on the long-term plans for tackling with the country’s existing social and economic situation. Racial tensions remain extremely high, with the ethnic groups living in almost complete segregation (The Straits Times Malaysia, 1968).
The cabinet’s agenda was to focus on three main areas – economics, labour and education. These were encompassed in an updated legislation by the leading members of the original Bros Alliance, consisting of Dato Ganie Gilong, Lim Swee Aun, Senu Abdul Rahman and Syed Hussein Alatas. Cabinet’s formal discussion today revolved around that piece of legislation.
(Note: A previous report of the legislation can be viewed in Article 3: New legislation crafted and discussed by Malaysian government, published on 20 June 2018)
The Sectarian Sedition Act expands the current definition of “sedition tendencies” as a tendency to “promote the feelings of ill will and hostility between different religions”. Khir Johari, Member of Parliament felt strongly against this, as he felt that it would “promote further racial hatred within communites” and “establish a completely Islamic state within Malaysia”.
Devan Nair, Member of Parliament suggested the inclusion of a “sub-clause to prevent misuse of the Sectarian Sedition Act”.
Burhanuddin al-Helmy, Member of Parliament supported the aforementioned Act as a crucial one, claiming that the current situation of crisis necessitates for “basic needs to be first met like food and water, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, before higher needs like freedom of press can be fulfilled”.
Correspondents from TODAYonline also reached out to members of the public for their views on the current political situation. Abdul, Professional Flyer-maker had the following statement, “eh I tell you, come by my flyer, price very cheap cheap! Satu flyer tiga ringgit very bagus diskaun” (The Utusan Melayu, 1968).
1) The Straits Times Malaysia, 1968. “New Leaders, Same Old Problems.” The Straits Times Malaysia,
March 24, 1968. 2) The Utusan Melayu, 1968. “A Sigh of Relief With an Uneasy Peace.” The Utusan Melayu,
November 8, 1968.
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