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Friday, December 29, 2023

Loke calls for cool heads and consensus in policy-making


DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook says no party can dominate government policies and decisions, which are made by consensus in the Cabinet.

PETALING JAYA: The unity government coalition’s biggest challenge is in managing the differences among the diverse parties and uniting towards a common goal, DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook said today.

In a new year message, Loke said it was only natural in politics and in a democracy for differences of opinion on certain issues to arise from time to time.

“We must manage every situation with a cool head and always adhere to the spirit of consensus. The Cabinet is the country’s top decision-making body,” he said.

“All government policies and important decisions can only be decided through discussions at Cabinet meetings, and consensus is reached by all parties that form the government today. No party can dominate another in any decision.”

Loke, who is also transport minister, said he firmly adheres to the principle of collective responsibility, while reiterating the Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s priority for 2024, “The economy, economy, economy!”

He said his new year’s resolution is to continue playing a constructive role in enhancing the cooperation and sustainability of the unity government, as well as to deliver at his ministry in contributing to the government’s overall performance.

Loke reaffirmed DAP’s commitment “to ensure political stability, foster racial harmony, and advance the people’s well-being,” according to Bernama.

Reflecting on the unity government’s journey this year, Loke said the investment climate was becoming vibrant again, with investor confidence improving.

“All these indicators prove that the unity government led by Anwar Ibrahim can function well and effectively. The process of rebuilding the country is progressing smoothly, and with strong commitment, more government plans can be translated into integrated actions and fully implemented in 2024,” he said.

Loke’s comments on differences of opinion come in the wake of recent exchanges between politicians of DAP and Umno over membership of a committee looking into possible conflicts between shariah laws and the Federal Constitution.

Yesterday, Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham had said he had noticed that all members of the committee are Muslims. He said it was important to appoint non-Muslim constitutional experts to the committee so that non-Muslim views about proposed adjustments to the constitution will also be taken into account before a proposal for any change in the law is made.

Ngeh’s suggestion resulted in a barrage of criticism from Umno leaders such as Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh and Abdul Halim Suleiman of Johor Umno. Religious affairs minister Na’im Mokhtar also described Ngeh’s proposal as being “completely unfounded”.

Earlier today, Loke said Ngeh’s statement may have stirred controversy by suggesting DAP was trying to interfere in Islamic affairs. “This is not true at all. DAP respects the wisdom of the sultan of Selangor in making any decision regarding Islamic affairs,” he said.

The sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, later reminded non-Muslims to respect and refrain from interfering in matters relating to Islamic affairs. - FMT

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