MEDIA STATEMENT (7 JUNE 2018): Do Not Punish Voters With Unequal Allocation to MPs

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) requests explanation from the Pakatan Harapan government on the rationale behind the announcement of the RM500,000 sum allocated to Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament (MPs) while opposition MPs receive an allocation of RM100,000.

Such allocation is important for the development in the constituency. Voters in the constituencies won by the opposition or independent candidates should not be punished or discriminated against for exercising their right to vote and for choosing opposition or independent candidates with this unequal allocation of fund. Furthermore, such unequal allocation will also unjustly affect the voters in these constituencies that have voted for the ruling parties in GE14. Pakatan Harapan government should discard such outdated, short sighted and discriminatory policy of BN.

As a multiparty democracy where Parliament is made up of more than one coalition/ party, it is essential that all elected representatives receive their fair allocation given that the opposition is made up of more than just Barisan Nasional, such as PAS, STAR in Sabah and elected independent candidates.

A more pertinent issue to raise is how these allocations have been used in the past by BN MPs and the accountability of it. Are these fund really spent on the people in need in the constituencies or have they been abused for personal or political gains?

BERSIH 2.0 calls on the new government to come out with guidelines to ensure that the spending of this allocated sum must be audited through a transparent process and the audited accounts must be made public for the sake of responsible spending, accountability to the people, and curbing corrupt and nepotistic practices. This should be enforced for all MPs across the board in making sure that the people in the constituencies benefit from this allocation.

BERSIH 2.0 welcomes the efforts of the current government to reform government and civil institutions in the pursuit of furthering democracy and upholding the rights and wellbeing of the people. In the same vein, BERSIH 2.0 would like to remind the government that as MPs are elected representatives of the people, the MPs enjoy equal standing in parliament and should be treated fairly and given the same resources in the interest of all voters.

As we step away from old divisive and discriminatory politics in parliament to embrace new politics of inclusiveness, transparency and accountability, BERSIH 2.0 urges the new government to clarify its announcement on the unequal allocation to MPs.

Issued by:
BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee