BERSIH 2.0 cautiously welcomes the motion to form a Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reform which was passed by the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. This is an indication that the government is at long last paying serious attention to the voices of the rakyat.
However, we reiterate that any move towards electoral reform by the government is insincere and deceitful if the 8 immediate demands by BERSIH 2.0 are not implemented before the 13thGeneral Elections (GE-13). It is the duty of the Election Commission (EC) and the Government to do all they can to ensure that the right of all Malaysian citizens to vote in a clean, free and fair election is protected.
Any PSC is part of the Parliament which establishes it. Hence, if the Parliament is dissolved before a PSC completes its work, the PSC will be dissolved automatically too. Hence, it would be an affront to the Parliament house if the Najib Administration sets up the PSC only to make it work in vain.
In light of this, BERSIH 2.0 criticises Nazri Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, for stating that reforms can still be implemented after GE-13 if parliament is dissolved before the reforms are implemented. This is an indication that he fails to comprehend the importance of an electoral system that commands the confidence of the public. Nazri’s statement is in contradiction with Prime Minister Najib Razak’s vision to make Malaysia the best democracy in the world.
BERSIH 2.0 urges PM Najib Razak to give the people of Malaysia his word that GE-13 will not be held before the recommendations from the PSC are implemented. Tunaikan 8 tuntutan, barulah PRU-13!
It is pertinent that PSC holds public hearings at every state including Sabah and Sarawak to collect evidence and views from all Malaysians. The 50,000 Malaysians who made their stand for electoral reform on 9 July must be given a chance to voice their dissatisfaction regarding the electoral system. We also urge the PSC to conduct consultations with civil society organisations including BERSIH 2.0.
Although the PSC is now formed, BERSIH 2.0 would like to repeat our call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Electoral Reforms to study larger issues of elections and democracy such as electoral system, a full review of all electoral laws and the membership of the Election Commission.
Salam BERSIH 2.0!
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0)
`The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:
Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Chairperson), Andrew Khoo, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Dr Farouk Musa, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin.