Four tests whether the Malaysian ship of state is turning in a direction of greater integrity, rule of law and democracy towards a New Malaysia
The 100-day syndrome has inundated the media with headlines like “100 Days – New Malaysia”; “Prestasi 100 Hari”; “Janji 100 hari tertunai?”, “100-day report card on Pakatan Harapan: Looking Rosy for Now” and “What The People Say”.
While it is good to assess what had been achieved in the first 100 days of the Pakatan Harapan government as a form of report card, what is more important is whether the Malaysian ship of state had made a critical turn of direction from a trajectory of a failed, kleptocratic and kakistocratic state to a trajectory of greater national unity, integrity, democracy, rule of law and excellence.
While it is not possible to undo in 100 days all the abuses and excesses of power in over six decades of power, the country should have set a new course in nation-building in the first 100 days of the Pakatan Harapan Government towards a New Malaysia.
The following four outcomes indicate that Malaysia is turning in a direction of greater integrity, rule of law and democracy in the first 100 days for a New Malaysia:
Firstly, the restoration of the doctrine of separation of powers with a Parliament which is not a creature of the Executive and the Prime Minister to aid and abet the suppression of the the 1MDB corrutpion and money-laundering scandal and Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy.
This is accomplished firstly, by the new ruling by the Speaker of the 14th Parliament, Datuk Mohd Ariff Mohd Yusff releasing Members of Parliament from the albatross of the Speaker of the 13th Parliament virtually banning the 1MDB scandal as a tatoo subject in the previous Parliament; secondly, the parliamentary motion directing the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to conduct again a detailed investigation on the embezzlement of monies and the scandal with regard to 1MDB and its related companies in order to restore the dignity of the Dewan Rakyat and for all related information to be made public; and thirdly, the appointmen of an Opposition MP as Chairman of the PAC.
Secondly, the restoration of the doctrine of separation of powers with a Judiciary which is not a creature of the Executive and the Prime Minister, with the appointment of the new Chief Justice, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and new Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop and the country expects a new era of judicial activism.
Thirdly, the transformation of Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity in the world, not only with comprehensive investigation into the 1MDB scandal but a clean-up of the corrupt system of governance in Malaysia – which, according to the Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, have gone “several layers deep” in the higher echelons of the public service.
Fourthly, the motion passed by Parliament last Thursday to set up six parliamentary select committees, which herald far-reaching parliamentary reforms.
But there are danger signals – the resort to vicious and toxic politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies by irresponsible political opportunists in the Opposition to engender distrust, enmity and dissension among races and religions in a “scorched earth” policy to divide Malaysia, as seen in the recent Sungai Kandis by-election and likely to be repeated in the Balakong and Seri Setia by-elections in Selangor.