Ensuring political stability, the GE15 guessing game hurts the nation


Bersih Logo – Photo by Facebook/Bersih2.0

KUCHING (July 8): The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) has called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to show leadership in stabilizing Malaysian politics.

In a statement released today, Bersih said Ismail Sabri should either call for an early general election (GE15) or work on more institutional reforms until July 2023.

“GE15’s guessing game harms the nation with not only uncertainty that affects decisions to be made in economic and public life, but also diverts the attention of governance ministers,” Bersih said.

“If the Prime Minister cannot decide when to call a snap election, he should simply, by default, present the governance and reform plan for the remainder of his term until July 16, 2023. He should show leadership and determination in stabilizing Malaysian politics. .”

Bersih also called on the prime minister to push forward a political transformation agenda that can ensure political stability and accountability after GE15.

The statement was released following Bersih’s two-day conference “Gearing Up for GE15: What Reforms Do Voters Want”, where politicians from various parties and experts from academia and civil society discussed the urgent reforms needed before GE15.

Among the reforms discussed were the implementation of a 10-year term limit for prime ministers; the introduction of a constructive vote of no confidence; the introduction of a fixed-term parliament; separation of the offices of the Attorney General and the Public Prosecutor’s Office; enact federal and state laws for the Constituency Equitable Development Fund (CDF); and the formation of a Select Parliamentary Select Committee (PSSC) on electoral matters.

Other issues discussed concerned the extension of the right to vote of absentees to voters outside the region; improving the postal voting process for Malaysian voters abroad; empowering CHSPs; reinstate the Parliamentary Services Act; strengthen the independence, impartiality and representativeness of the presidents and vice-presidents; and amendments to the Standing Orders to empower opposition Members and government backbenchers to authorize private members’ bills.

Bersih said that other undiscussed but equally crucial institutional reforms relate to the adoption of a law on political financing which includes the public financing of political parties and the implementation of the national anti-corruption plan or its functional equivalent.

“Bersih noted that Ismail Sabri issued a statement on May 19 this year that a special Cabinet committee on anti-corruption has agreed in principle to the enactment of a political finance bill, a plan that will institutionalize good governance principles and practices as a national good A governance plan (MyGovernance) across all government agencies, including statutory bodies, will be introduced, and the separation of the offices of the AG and the Ministry audience will be explored.

“We welcome the willingness of the government of Ismail Sabri to consider these reforms and to implement those already provided for in the memorandum of understanding for transformation and political stability.

“It is time for the Prime Minister to restore public confidence in our political and electoral process, a goal that should be supported by all parties, both in government and in opposition,” Bersih stressed.

Bersih added that he is aware that many structural reforms require constitutional amendments and called on all parties and MPs, including Umno, to support such a reform program, and the government to initiate a consultation process with all stakeholders to obtain their input and support.

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