10 Institutional Reforms to Stop More Prime Ministerial Corruption


6 JULY 2015

10 Institutional Reforms to Stop More Prime Ministerial Corruption

Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0) calls upon Malaysians to firmly demand 10 institutional reforms for good governance and democracy to put a stop to prime ministerial corruption, as Najib Razak’s prime ministership is increasingly untenable with the latest expose of the transfer of RM 2.6 billion into his personal banking accounts.
For now, BERSIH 2.0 demands these immediate actions:

  • Najib Razak to make public his bank account details, in particular, clarify if the AmBank accounts existed in his name and, if so, show the transaction details for the dates in question
  • Najib Razak to take leave as the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and all other public offices he holds pending investigation
  • Najib Razak’s, his spouse’s and his children’s accounts to be frozen
  • All findings of investigation by Bank Negara, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Police, and the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 1MDB and related companies to be made public in the fastest time possible.

BERSIH 2.0 reminds Malaysians that Najib Razak is not the first prime minister to be implicated in corruption, abuse or mismanagement of public funds. Unless institutional reforms take place, he will not be the last.
BERSIH 2.0 reminds Malaysians that when prime ministers get off scot-free for squandering billions, there is no way Malaysians can stop ministers and senior civil servants from also squandering millions, as revealed in the Auditor-General’s Report every year. Such “leadership by example” of the worst form must be put to an end.
BERSIH 2.0 says, 10 institutional reforms for good governance and democracy are needed to root out the three main causes of prime ministerial corruption: the near-impossibility of losing elections; power concentration and unaccountability of the executive; and the suppression of political dissent.
BERSIH 2.0 proposes 10 long-term institutional reforms to address the three root-causes of prime ministerial corruption:

  • To make electoral defeats of corrupt politicians more probable

1. Make the Election Commission accountable to the Parliament, with EC members nominated by parliamentary parties based on vote share.
2. Clean up the electoral rolls, ensuring level-playing field in contestation, and eliminating malapportionment and gerrymandering before the next general elections.

  • To break power concentration and unaccountability of the Executive

3. Stop Mahathir’s legacy of the Prime Minister simultaneously holding the portfolio of Minister of Finance.
4. Introduce parliamentary reform to enable more effective scrutiny of the Executive and more consultative law making, as per recommendations by BERSIH 2.0 and the Coalition for Parliamentary Reform (CPR).
5. Make the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) a constitutional body answerable to Parliament and imbue the MACC with both investigative and prosecutorial powers.
6. Restrict the role of Attorney-General (AG) to providng legal advice to the Federal Government, with the prosecutory power transferred to an independent office of Director of Public Prosecutions.
7. Establish Freedom of Information (FOI) Laws at the federal and state levels.
8. Make public declaration of assets – including those of spouses — mandatory for all members of the Cabinet, all deputy ministers and all officers holding top offices in government and government-linked companies (GLCs).

  • To protect political dissent

9. Abolish draconian laws, such as the Sedition Act 1948; Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015; Peaceful Assembly Act 2012; Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012; and amend provisions of Penal Code which violate freedoms and rights.
10. Establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to depoliticise the Royal Malaysia Police and turning it from a violator of human rights into a protector of human rights.
BERSIH 2.0 reminds Malaysians that, now in the forefront of demanding Najib’s exit, former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has allegedly squandered an estimated RM100 billion on financial scandals in his 22-year rule.
The allegation made by former journalist Barry Wain in his book ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times’ was neither challenged in court nor even effectively refuted.
One of Mahathir’s latest financial scandals, the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) land deal, cost Malaysians RM12 billion, about a quarter of the amount in Najib’s own 1MDB scandal, RM42 billion.
BERSIH 2.0 warns any new prime minister produced by intra-UMNO and inter-party horse-tradings dominated by Dr. Mahathir may soon create his own 1MDB or PKFZ.
BERSIH 2.0 laments that corruption, right from the prime minister to senior government servants, has taken a toll on our economy by eating up funds for education, healthcare and public works, cutting subsidies vital to support the bottom 40% of households and the imposition of the goods and services tax (GST) which causes both inflation and economic slowdown.
Corruption must end now.
Issued by
Maria Chin Abdullah, Chair, BERSIH 2.0
BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee, –
Timbalan Pengerusi: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Bendahari: Masjaliza Hamzah; wakil kebangsaan: Prof Madya Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusof, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri dan New Sin Yew; naib pengerusi: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (Semenanjung Timur), Thomas Fann (Semenanjung Selatan), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Semenanjung Tengah) dan Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (Semenanjung Utara).