Bersih urges govt to implement all reforms pledged by composite parties and coalitions


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 04 Mar 2023

PETALING JAYA: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) has congratulated the government for its institutional reforms during its first 100 days but urges them to fulfil all promises made by component parties and coalitions.

Here is its statement in full:

After 100 days, Bersih urges the unity government for more institutional reforms

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) congratulates the unity government for some of the institutional reforms carried out in its first 100 days and urges for more as per promises by the respective coalitions and parties in the government.

Our Cheers

We congratulate Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reforms), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, for the following initiatives/steps related to Parliament and the Attorney General's Chambers.

1. The Prime Minister Question Time (PMQ) at the Dewan Rakyat.

2. The increase of the number of motions, from two to four, in the Special Chamber.

3. The initial discussion between the Law and Institutional Reforms Minister and the Solicitor-General on the separation of Public Prosecution Office from AGC and the setting up of an independent law commission.

Our Disappointments

However, we regret that the government has missed the opportunities to deliver other low-lying fruits:

1. Continuing the allocation of Constituency Development Funds to Opposition MPs (93% of the Opposition MPs were covered in 2022) despite promised in both manifestos of Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional.

2. No transparency and parliamentary oversight in the appointment of key public officers, including Attorney General, members of the Election Commission and the Public Services Commission

3. No tabling of the Constitutional Amendment Bill to effect a 10-year tenure limit for the prime minister, an unfulfilled promise of the MOU between the Ismail Sabri Government and Pakatan.

4. No tabling of the Political Financing Bill even though this has been worked on by four consecutive governments.

5. No tabling of the Parliamentary Services Bill despite works beginning since the tenure of former Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Ariff Yusof, and another unfulfilled promise of the MOU between the Ismail Sabri government and Pakatan.

6. No repeal or review by parliamentary committee of Sedition Act 1948, Official Secrets Act 1972, Communication and Multimedia Act 1998, Printing Press and Publication Act 1984, Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

7. No setting up of Parliamentary Committees more than two months after the 15th Parliament was sworn in.

Our calls for the next 100 days

We urge the government and Parliament to take efforts to deliver the three following reforms in the next 100 days, which may require Dewan Rakyat to have more sitting days than what are currently scheduled,

1. Setting up of Parliamentary Special Select Committees (PSSC) and Parliamentary Permanent Select Committees (PPSC) including one on Elections and Multiparty Democracy.

2. A parliamentary act to provide for equitable Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for all parliamentarians.

3. Recognition and empowerment of Perikatan Nasional's shadow cabinet with allowance, research officers and information access.

Our calls within one year

We urge the government and Parliament to take efforts to deliver the seven following reforms before Nov 24, 2023, which may require Dewan Rakyat to have more sitting days than what are currently scheduled,

1. Enactment of the Parliamentary Services Act.

2. Enactment of a Political Financing Act.

3. Enactment on the Amendment to the Election Offences Act.

4. Constitutional Amendment to effect a 10-year tenure limit for the Prime Minister.

5. Separation of the role of the Attorney General and the Public Prosecutor.

6. Transparency and parliamentary oversight in the appointment of key public officers.

7. Review by parliamentary committee of Sedition Act 1948, Official Secrets Act 1972, Communication and Multimedia Act 1998, Printing Press and Publication Act 1984, Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Bersih will continue to engage with the Government, Parliament and the relevant stakeholders to advocate for the reforms, as well as to monitor and check and balance the progress.

Steering Committee of Bersih

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