Parliament must play its role to achieve the Pakatan Harapan promise to reset nation-building policies in keeping with the Merdeka Proclamation that Malaysia “shall be forever a sovereign democratic and independent state founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people”
Parliament must play its role to achieve the Pakatan Harapan promise to reset nation-building policies in keeping with the Merdeka Proclamation that Malaysia “shall be forever a sovereign democratic and independent state founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people”.
Let me read excerpts from Buku Harapan:
“We promise hope for all citizens, regardless of race and religion. We will stop the rot in key national institutions and we will return the rule of law by ensuring the independence and integrity of important government agencies.
“We will cleanse Malaysia from corruption, malfeasance and kleptocracy, and at the same time drive a sustainable economic growth so that the benefits can be shared by all, not just by a few people in power.
“We offer leaders who are clean and committed to cleaning up this country from the rot, and leaders who are committed to helping people of all backgrounds.”
The Buku Harapan highlights the five pillar-promises, viz:
- Reduce the people’s burden;
- Institutional and political reforms;
- Spur sustainable and equitable economic growth;
- Return Sabah and Sarawak to the status accorded in Malaysia Agreement 1963; and
- Create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally.
In the agenda on institutional and political reforms, the Buku Harapan stressed that “the check and balance mechanism created by our forefathers no longer function effectively” and pledged to restore confidence in the country’s institutions and redeem the dignity of the administration in a series of institutional and political reforms.
High on this list of institutional and political reforms is the restoration of the dignity of Parliament by upholding the doctrine of separation of powers.
Apart from the Parliamentary Caucus on Reform and Governance, we have set up six bipartisan parliamentary select committees to carry out institutional and political reforms, namely on the budget, state and federal relations, the consideration of bills, defence and home affairs, major public appointments and finally, rights and gender equality.
We must ensure that these six Select Committee can function in a meaningful and effective manner, as they are the first step to wide-ranging parliamentary reforms which envisaged a Dewan Rakyat Select Committee for every Ministry, with the power to call Ministers and senior officials to testify.
Recently, the country had been convulsed with several arrests in connection with terrorism activities in connection with LTTE, including two elected state Assemblymen from the DAP.
We have a Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs to ensure that there is no police abuse of power has happened in the previous administration, when the doctrine of separation of powers was abused and Parliament could not fully perform its constitutional function, with a full clampdown for instance on debate on the 1MDB scandal when the whole world was accusing Malaysia of being a global kleptocracy.
I want to make it very clear that DAP had never proposed police investigation into the LTTE should stop because two DAP State Assemblyman, P. Gunasekaran of Negri Sembilan and G. Saminathan of Malacca are suspected to be involved.
The era when national security is the sole concern of the Police is over as national security should be the concern of all patriotic Malaysians and Members of Parliament.
While the police has the professional and specific duty to safeguard the national security of the nation, it should not act as in the past when the phrase “national security” was abused not to protect national security, but for other motives and purposes.
This is why the Police must act in a transparent and accountable fashion.
This is also why we have a Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, as national security is the responsibility of all Malaysians.
The Police must be mindful of the background for the Pakatan Harapan pledge in its 14th General Election Manifesto for the repeal of repressive laws, in particular the draconian provisions in the SOSMA Act 2012.
Until the draconian provisions in SOSMA Act are repealed, there must be effective check and balance to ensure that the spirit of the Pakatan Harapan pledge of a New Malaysia is honoured and that there are no abuses of power concerning the draconian provisions in the SOSMA Act.