Bersih calls to put an end to corruption, choose clean politicians and parties

KUALA LUMPUR: The people must band together to call for an end to selective prosecution and immunity accorded to certain individuals or political parties, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) said.

Bersih steering committee said those involved in wrongdoings must toe the line, as much as the people were told to obey the law or face consequences of breaking it.

“We must reject politicians or parties that see political power as a means to escape punishment or to exact revenge on their opponents.

“To ensure that there is no interference in the judicial process by the government, we must separate the role of the public prosecutor from that of the Attorney-General, who is a political appointee.

“Corruption must also be rejected as it is a scourge on our country and has become part of our culture. We must end this by choosing clean politicians and parties that are committed to taking concrete measures.

“It is such as the passing of the Political Financing Act, implementation of a National Anti-Corruption Plan and to reform the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission so that it could be an independent body and not used as a weapon against political opponents,” said Bersih in a statement today.

The two elements were two of five Bersih’s five key areas of focus, which are part of its Ketuanan Pengundi campaign over the past one year.

It serves for the people to demand from the Election Commission and from the political parties that will be contesting for the right to be the government for the next five years.

The committee said another focus was to stabilise the political situation in the country which has been uncertain since the Sheraton Move in 2020 and the calling of the 15th General election was a continuation of that.

Such a scenario, it said, needed laws and regulations that stabilise politics and lend predictability to government policies and date of elections.

“Bersih proposed a Fixed Term Parliament Act to ensure greater certainty for all of us. To restore parliament as the institution to determine with certainty the formation of government, we propose amendments to the House Standing Orders to provide for a Confirmatory Vote of Confidence (CVC) for any incoming Prime Minister (PM) and a Constructive Vote of No-Confidence (CVNC) for any PM who may have lost the support of the majority of members of parliament.

“These mechanisms would prevent the collapse of governments through sometimes dubious statements of withdrawal of support of the PM issued outside parliament,” said the committee.

Caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had on Oct 10 announced the dissolution of the parliament to pave the way for the 15th General Election.

The country will have to go to the polls in less than 60 days from Oct 10.

Ismail Sabri said the dissolution was to put to rest all claims regarding the legitimacy of the current government.

(First published by New Straits Times, 13 October 2022: