PETALING JAYA: The G25 group of eminent Malays is appealing to the Malay Rulers to urge the Government to uphold the principle of check and balance among key institutions in the country.
This was important to prevent the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) controversy from spiralling, it said.
“We appeal to our Rulers as custodian of the Constitution to call for urgent efforts to be made by the Government to uphold the constitutional principles of check and balance among the monarchy, parliament, the executive, judiciary and the administrative institutions.
“This is in order to strengthen the functioning of our democracy and preventing a crisis like 1MDB from causing much damage to Malaysia’s reputation as a well-managed country,” it said in a statement.
The statement, in response to the call by the Council of Malay Rulers for the probe on 1MDB to be expedited and done in a fair and transparent manner, was issued on behalf of the group by Zailah Tun Dr Ismail, who is the daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.
The group said their Royal Highnesses correctly emphasised on the urgency for early completion of the investigations, adding that any delay would cause unhealthy levels of uncertainty and allow opportunities to incite fear and anxiety among the country’s races.
“All these tensions are having an adverse impact on political stability in the country and causing the ringgit to decline beyond the country’s economic fundamentals, thereby dampening the investment climate and growth prospects in the economy,” it said.
The group said good governance could protect the country from getting into one crisis after another, the most serious being the current crisis of confidence Malaysia was facing.
Accepting that external factors were the main cause for the weakening of the ringgit and foreign investor sentiments towards Malaysia, the group said it was unwise to blame all problems on that alone.
“Our leaders must proactively meet the challenges of global uncertainties by strengthening the country’s domestic resilience against external instabilities and volatility,” it said, adding that the only way to do this was for the leaders to introduce political, economic and social reforms as suggested by CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum.
At that event on Monday, Nazir said Malaysia urgently needed a new social and economic re-engineering programme moulded along the lines of the National Consultative Council set up in 1970 following the May 13 racial riots in 1969.
He said the new council should be dubbed NCC2 and deliberate on six issues – constitutional, electoral and economic reforms (including affirmative action and the role of Government in the economy); national unity and the social contract; preserving and strengthening the integrity of the Federation, and institutional integrity.
“Only through wide-ranging reforms can confidence be restored in the economy to put it on a stronger footing to make us become not only a high income nation by 2020 but also fully developed with all races living in peace and harmony, as a model for other Muslim countries,” the group said.