Caretaker State Governments Must Not Make Major Decisions or Announce Projects

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) reminds all out-going state governments in Kelantan, Selangor, Kedah, Penang, Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu that they are only ‘caretaker governments’ after dissolution of the state legislatures.

As a caretaker government’s function is only to maintain basic operation until the new government is sworn in, these caretaker governments must refrain from making any major decisions or announcing any projects.

Any such decision or announcement would be democratically wrong and legally dubious as they do not have the authority beyond caretaking. The secretary’s office of the state governments needs to issue a caretaker government guideline, as has been done at the federal level. The guidelines, among other things, state:

“The Caretaker Government cannot make any binding decisions or policies, nor can it take any action that may have financial implications and burden the newly established government, unless the action is required in the public interest.”

Whatever projects any out-going state government wants to pursue can only be promised in its manifesto and must not be announced as decisions.

Bersih urges the Malaysian public to monitor and demand of all out-going state governments this basic respect of democracy. If misconducts are tolerated due to partisan bias, then all parties would race to the bottom in bending rules to win elections at the expense of public interest.

Statement issued by:
The Steering Committee of Bersih