We must all play our parts now

Photo: 123rf.com

THE Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) congratulates Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on his appointment as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia, and welcomes the formation of a unity government led by Pakatan Harapan with the support of Barisan Nasional and the Borneo blocs. This brought to an end five days of political impasse due to a hung Parliament following the 15th General Election (GE15) on Nov 19.

The hung Parliament signified the maturing of Malaysian democracy where politics is no longer dominated by just two coalitions; voters could choose among several options and a post-election coalition was formed peacefully and successfully.

Hopefully from now on, political parties will be forced to moderate themselves during campaigning and refrain from vilifying rivals as they may have to be partners after elections.

Bersih applauds the announcement by Anwar that the first item when Parliament convenes on Dec 19 is the tabling of a vote of confidence to prove that he commands the majority support of the Dewan Rakyat. We believe that he will have secured the support of his coalition’s partners by then.

The coalition agreements among the parties – on policy goals they agree on and on what mechanisms they will use to address new and undecided issues – should be announced, signed publicly and deposited in Parliament the way former PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob signed the memorandum of understanding for Political Stability and Transformation with Pakatan in 2021.

We have long called for the adoption of the confirmatory vote of confidence as part of parliamentary convention to prove support for a PM as this would remove any doubts about the legitimacy of a government and reaffirm the judgement of the Yang diPertuan Agong, as laid out in Article 43(2)(a) of the Consti-tution. Discussions about the formation of government are too important to be conducted behind closed doors with statutory declarations that are opaque to the rakyat.

Anwar should also remember his promise to keep his administration slim. The political need to appoint representatives from various parties should be addressed by setting up the same number or more of Parliamentary committees as the number of ministries, with commensurate salary but no perks for committee chairs and deputy chairs.

The election is over and a government has been formed. Bersih calls on all parties – especially the Perikatan Nasional coalition – to accept the outcome of GE15 and to play their role as the loyal Opposition to the new government.

We need an Opposition that can effectively scrutinise Anwar’s government. For that to happen, the new Pakatan-led government has to empower Parliament and provide adequate resources for special select committees and the formation of a shadow Cabinet.

Bersih also congratulates the almost 15.5 million voters – or 74% of those eligible – who participated in GE15 despite rain and flooding in some areas.

The images of voters wading in knee-high floodwaters to cast their votes in Baram, Sarawak, and the mobilisation of Malay-sians all over the world to bring home postal ballots demonstrated the determination and commitment of Malaysians to our democracy.

Let GE15 be remembered as the moment when we transitioned to a multiparty democracy and elections that are not do-or-die battles that cause deep divisions in society. It is time to heal and for all parties to play our part to ensure that the rakyat are the true winners of this election.


Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 0
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Letters

Pension issue solved already
Fomca calls for more bite in promoting competition
Firm friends, ready for the future
Overloading as a factor in crashes
Speed up approvals for hiring foreign maids too
Proposal for a shift in dengue control strategy
Healing a sickly system
Reality in the STEM sector
Let GEG be a fight for another day
Training the guns on battle tanks

Others Also Read