The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) commends the cooperation for political stability in Perak based on the Sultan of Perak’s decree. The opposition party has agreed to support the Chief Minister and his state government with the ruling party agreeing to implement certain institutional reforms(1).
We congratulate the Perak Chief Minister Datuk Saarani Mohamad, opposition leader Abdul Aziz Bari and all Barisan Nasional-Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan members (ADUNs) of the Perak State Legislative Assembly (SLA) who prioritised political stability and the interests of the people and country to achieve this confidence and supply agreement (CSA).
This may be the first ever CSA in Malaysian political history between the ruling party and opposition. This is also a new norm and an example of mature political practice that should be normalised by political parties in the new era of Malaysian politics to deal with the fierce political competition about the number of seats held by the respective political parties.
BERSIH 2.0 has previously issued a statement that political parties need to achieve a CSA as one of the steps towards a democratic solution to the political polemics faced by the country on 25 October 2020(2) after the Prime Minister’s support was questioned on numerous occasions.
The example set by Perak ADUNs is a beacon to illuminate the path forward for national politics so that politicians can practice healthy, mature and people-centered politics.
BERSIH 2.0 welcomes the reforms agreed upon by the Government and the Opposition in Perak to achieve political stability, at least until the end of the SLA term. Among the reforms that BERSIH 2.0 proposed on December 4 that have been adopted are: a fair allocation to all ADUNs regardless if opposition or government, the establishment of select committees in the SLA so that non-executive backbenchers and opposition ADUNs can play a more effective role in policy making and no promises of GLC positions as gifts to ADUNs in return for their support to the government(3).
The CSA reached by both the Opposition and Government in Perak can be used as an example by the opposition and the government at the federal level to do the same. BERSIH 2.0 supports the agreement made by the state assemblymen in Perak:
- Equal annual allocation of RM200,000 to each ADUN regardless of political affiliation
- Involvement of each elected representative including the Opposition to join the District Action Committee, District Focus Group Committee and District Disaster Committee
- Official recognition of the State Legislative Assembly Opposition Leader by providing salaries, allowances and emoluments as well as providing reasonable facilities
- Agreement to appoint the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee from the Opposition.
Politicians from the Opposition and the Government should be clear about their roles and responsibilities to the people and the country. Political stability in the country can only be achieved if politicians practice mature, healthy and professional political competition. To achieve this, confidence and supply agreements based on institutional reform and parliamentary reform need to be implemented immediately. This country is our shared responsibility.
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0