MEDIA STATEMENT (14 May 2014)
BERSIH 2.0: Expose political horse-trading, bribes in Terengganu crisis
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (BERSIH 2.0) is extremely disturbed by how the Terengganu political crisis transpired, (from the sudden resignation of the former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said) right down to the speedy ‘resolution’ to the momentarily hung state assembly. The latter development, in particular, lent much credence to former New Straits Times group chief editor Datuk Kadir Jasin’s prediction that the crisis could be resolved if “the price is right”.
The whole affair stinks of not only dirty politics but also party politics taking precedence over governance. Politicians must be reminded that holding public office is not a personal benefit but a responsibility to fellow citizens.
BERSIH 2.0 urges anyone who knows of any attempt to buy or sell political affiliation with monetary gain – especially using public funds or other concessions – to blow the whistle as corruption of such order will definitely destroy the country.
Given the state of politics in this country, this will not be the last time such a crisis can happen. We must then loudly pressure for the correct recourse to be taken in the event it recurs: the Menteri Besar must seek royal consent to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly so that they will have a solid mandate to run the state. It is only logical that when a government’s mandate is in doubt, it should always go back to the ballot box to earn its right to govern.
BERSIH 2.0 disagrees with suggestion that the Palace may summon lawmakers to determine whether the government still enjoys the confidence of majority lawmakers, for it will drag the constitutional monarch into partisan politics and tarnish its above-the-fray image, as happened in the Perak Constitutional Crisis in 2009.
We will never advance as a mature democracy if we continue to ignore the many painful lessons from our past and do not take a decisive step to break the chain of dirty politics by exposing the actors to public condemnation.
Issued by: The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises:
Maria Chin Abdullah (Chairperson), Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa (Deputy Chairperson), Masjaliza Hamzah (Treasurer), Farhana Abdul Halim, New Sin Yew, Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah Vice-chair), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak Vice-chair), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula Vice-chair), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula Vice-chair), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula Vice-chair) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula Vice-chair).