Bersih 2.0 reiterates call for political reforms

KUCHING: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) hopes political leaders and parties will show maturity and put the people’s interest above all.

The coalition of non-governmental organisations said this can be done by working towards institutional reforms to bring the country through the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said the past year had been a challenge for Malaysia and the world, adding that despite the country appearing to have leapfrogged to 2021 through the Covid-19 pandemic, the nature of politics, however, had not changed much.

“The pursuit of power and influence still continues and justifies the saying that politics never sleeps.

“Therefore, to create a healthier political environment, we call for several reforms to be implemented,” Bersih 2.0 said in a statement today (Jan 1).

Among the reforms sought by Bersih 2.0 are:

  • Equitable constituency development funds (CDF) allocation to all elected representatives regardless of party affiliation, at both federal and state levels.
  • Parliamentary or legislative reform so that MPs or state assemblypersons (ADUN) in the opposition bench and government backbench can play a more meaningful role, such as inclusion in at least one parliamentary select committee (PSC), allocation of time for non-governmental affairs, like private members bills, and multi-partisan setting of parliamentary or legislative agenda.
  • Recognition of a shadow cabinet by federal and state governments through the provision of allowances and emoluments and reasonable access to government information to formulate alternative policies.
  • Election mechanism at the federal and state levels to empower people to determine the mandate of a MP or ADUN who has hopped to another political party which is different from the one he or she represented during election.
  • Equality before the law, and selective prosecution and immunity from prosecution by law that produces a dual-class society must end. Thus, a politically independent Public Prosecutor’s Office separated from the Attorney General’s Chambers must be set up.
  • Rational, appropriate and meaningful division of power between the federal government, state government and local government to ensure not all power is concentrated in the federal government and thus, all levels of government can play an important role with adequate resources. In line with this, elections should be held for local governments.