The Coalition of Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) calls on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to advance an agenda of political transformation that can ensure political stability and accountability after GE15.
The guessing game of GE15 is hurting the nation with not only uncertainty that affects decisions to be made in economy and public life, but also distract ministers’ attention from governance.
If PM cannot decide on when to call for an early election, he should just by default lay out the Governance and reform plan for the remainder of his term till July 16, 2023. He should show leadership and determination in stabilising Malaysian politics.
BERSIH and the Bar Council had just successfully concluded a two-day conference entitled Gearing Up for GE15: What Reforms Do Voters Want, where we heard from politicians from various parties and experts from academia and civil society on urgent reforms needed before GE15. Among the reforms addressed were:
- Implementing PM’s 10 year tenure limit
- Introducing Constructive Vote of No-Confidence.
- Introducing Fixed Term Parliament
- Separation of Attorney-General and Public Prosecutor’s offices
- Enacting Federal & State Laws for Equitable Constituency Development Fund (CDF)
- Formation of a PSSC on Electoral Matters
- Expanding Absentee Voting Rights to Out-of-Region Voters
- Improving Postal Voting Process for Overseas Malaysian Voters
- Empowering Parliamentary Special Select Committees
- Restoring the Parliamentary Services Act
- Enhancing the independence, impartiality and representativeness of Speakers and Deputy Speakers;
- Amendments to the Standing Orders to empower both Opposition MPs and Government backbenchers, and to enable Private member’s Bills
Other institutional reforms not discussed but are equally crucial are:
- Legislating a Political Financing Act which includes public funding of political parties;
- Implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Plan or its functional equivalent
BERSIH noted that Ismail Sabri issued a statement on 19 May this year that a Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption agreed in principle to the enactment of a Political Financing Bill, a comprehensive plan that will institutionalise good governance principles and practices as the National Good Governance Plan (MyGovernance) at all government agencies including statutory bodies will be introduced, and the separation of the AG and Public Prosecutor’s offices will be explored.
We applaud the willingness of the Ismail Sabri government to consider these reforms and implement those already in the MOU for Transformation and Political Stability.
It’s time for the PM to restore public confidence in our political and electoral process, a goal that should be supported by all parties, both in the government and Opposition benches.
BERSIH is aware that many structural reforms require constitutional amendments and we call on all parties and MPs, including the PM’s own party UMNO, to lend their support to any such reform agenda, and for the government to start a consultation process with all stakeholders to secure their inputs and support.
Statement issued by:
The Steering Committee of BERSIH
NOTE: We made a decision to drop the 2.0 from the name of our organization on 23 November 2021, and shall henceforth be known only as BERSIH.