Let GE15 Be The Dawn of A New Day For Democracy in Malaysia
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) congratulates Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim on his appointment as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia and we welcome the formation of a mixed coalition government led by Pakatan Harapan (PH) with the support of BN and the Borneo blocs. This brought to an end five days of political impasse due to a hung parliament from GE15.
The hung parliament of GE15 signified the maturing of Malaysian democracy where politics is no longer dominated by a single or two coalitions but voters can choose between several options and post-election coalition can be formed peacefully and successfully. Hopefully from now on, parties would be forced to moderate themselves during campaigning as they may have to be partners after elections.
BERSIH applauds the announcement by Anwar that the first agenda when Parliament convenes on 19 December 2022 is the tabling of a vote of confidence to prove that he commands the majority support of the Dewan Rakyat to be the PM. We believe that he would have secured the support of his coalition’s partners by then. The coalition agreements between the parties – on policy goals they have agreed and on the mechanisms on new and undecided issues – should be announced, signed publicly and deposited in Parliament the way PM9 Ismail Sabri signed the MOU for Political Stability and Transformation with PH in 2021.
We have long called for the Confirmatory Vote of Confidence (CVC) to be adopted as part of parliamentary convention to proof support for a PM as this would remove any doubts as to the legitimacy and strength of a government and reaffirms the judgement of the YDPA as laid out in Article 43(2)(a). The formation of government is too important to be conducted behind closed doors with statutory declarations that are opaque to the Rakyat.
Anwar should also remember his promise to keep his administration slim. The political need to appoint representatives from various Parties should be addressed by setting up the same number or more of Parliamentary committees as the number of ministries, with commensurate salary but no perks for the Chairs and Deputy Chairs.
The election is over and a government has been formed. BERSIH calls on all parties especially the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition to accept the outcome of GE15 and to play their role as the loyal Opposition to the new government. We need an opposition that could effectively scrutinize Anwar’s government. For that to happen, the new PH-led government has to empower Parliament and provide adequate resources for special select committees and the formation of a shadow cabinet.
BERSIH also congratulates the almost 15.5 millions or 74 percent of eligible voters who participated in GE15 despite rain and flooding in some areas. The images of voters wading in knee high flood water to cast their votes in Baram, Sarawak and the global mobilisation of Malaysian all over the world to bring home postal ballots demonstrated the determination and commitment of Malaysians to our democracy.
Let GE15 be remembered as the election where we transit to a multiparty democracy and elections are not do-or-die battles that cause deep divisions in our society. It is time to heal and for all parties to play our part to ensure that the Rakyat are the true winner of this election.
Statement issued by:
The Steering Committee of BERSIH