Politics

Prioritize institutional reform and restore political stability – Bersih 2.0

Ahirul Ahirudin
Written by Ahirul Ahirudin

KUALA LUMPUR – January 2, 2020: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) has called for the government to not just promise hope, but start prioritising their election promise which is to reform key institutions and to restore political stability.

The electoral watchdog said that it has been more than 19 months since Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over and that not much has been done in fulfilling their manifesto’s promise to reform the institutions and political structures of this country.

“Instead of fulfilling the people’s expectation of a Malaysia Baharu, we are fed with gutter politics, power struggles, political intrigues, and racial and religious rhetoric that are destabilising our country and causing a dissipation of hope among those who voted for change,” the coalition said in a statement today.

It added that even after acknowledging the changes that PH government brought in, it is not nearly enough unless amendments to laws are made and the reforms are institutionalised.

“New laws are also needed to strengthen the institutions and governance of this country, and some laws have to be repealed”.

Bersih proposed the following urgent actions for the PH government to carry out in 2020.

FULFILL ALL INSTITUTIONAL REFORM PROMISES

Out of the 19 promises regarding institutional and political reforms under Pillar 2 of the Pakatan manifesto, most were unfulfilled or, at best, minimally fulfilled, said Bersih.

These included limiting the term and power of the prime minister (Promise 12), reforming the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Promise 14), and separating the office of the Attorney General and Public Prosecutor (Promise 15).

The other promises include restoring the dignity of Parliament (Promise 16), reforming the election system (Promise 17), enacting political financing legislation (Promise 18), restoring public trust in judicial and legal institutions (Promise 19), freeing government-linked companies or GLCs from political patronage (Promise 22), reviving the true spirit of federalism (Promise 24), strengthening local democracy (Promise 25), and abolishing oppressive laws (Promise 27).

Bersih said many of these reforms could be achieved without amendments to the Federal Constitution.

EXTEND THE NUMBER OF DAYS FOR PARLIAMENTARY SITTINGS

Bersih 2.0 proposes that the Dewan Rakyat should sit for a minimum days of 100 days per year, at least for the first three years of the PH government in order to carry out all the needed amendments.

SET A CLEAR DATE AND PROCESS FOR PRIME MINISTERIAL TRANSITION

2019 saw a resurgence of gutter politics of the vilest nature with the release of a sex video allegedly featuring Economic Minister Azmin Ali and another male partner. Bersih 2.0 claimed, that this was part of the consequences of not having a clear transition plan in place.

Also, it claims that both the local and foreign investors and civil servants would be taking a wait-and-see attitude, expecting that PH would be a one-term government, thus withholding their support and cooperation

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Ahirul Ahirudin

Ahirul Ahirudin