With the announcement of the dissolution of Parliament on Saturday, 7 April, BERSIH 2.0 reminds all ruling political parties at both state and federal levels to abide by the democratic conventions of a caretaker government.
Once Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies have been dissolved, there is no legislature to keep a check on the executive’s power. The government no longer has a mandate from the legislature and must act accordingly. It will exist solely for the minimal administration of government services.
In recognising that any political party may form a new government in the next Parliament, the caretaker government should not make binding policy decisions or enter into new agreements. More importantly, it should also not use government machinery and resources or announce projects for its own political advantage.
Unfortunately, in the past, Malaysia’s elections have been marred by the brazen use of government resources for party political purposes, creating an unlevel playing field between the incumbent and other candidates.
In January 2018, Prime Minister Najib Razak stated Barisan Nasional was committed to ensuring a clean and fair election. The BN Manifesto also expresses a “commitment to nurture the growth of democratic participation”. Similarly, Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto makes a commitment to “clean, fair and transparent elections”.
BERSIH 2.0 therefore expects both sides to honour these commitments and not abuse the rakyat’s money to further their own political agenda.
BERSIH 2.0 will be monitoring any events and activities that contravene the principles of a caretaker government and encourage the public to lodge reports of such offences on the Pemantau website (aduan.pemantau.org).
Malaysians must hold politicians accountable for their use of government funds. We urge all voters to turn up on election day and vote against corrupt politicians that use the rakyat’s money for their own political advantage. BERSIH 2.0 further expects the Election Commission to make voting easy by setting election day on a weekend.
BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee