Justice For All Malaysia

The Promise of Pakatan Rakyat

Posted on: September 12, 2008

Early elections if Pakatan takes over
Wong Choon Mei | Sep 11, 08 5:39pm Malaysiakini.com
The Pakatan Rakyat alliance, led by opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim, plans to call for early general elections if it comes into power so as to dispel worries its targeted takeover of the government might be undemocratic or unethical.

MCPX

PKR vice-president R Sivarasa told Malaysiakini fresh elections would be held within six months to a year of the alliance gaining control of Parliament.

bersih ec constitutional putrajaya 181207 sivarasa“We want to ensure free and fair elections. To do that we need to free the media, clean up the electoral roll and put the Elections Commission on a balanced footing,” the Subang MP said.

“This will easily take between six months to a year.”

Made up of the PKR, DAP and PAS, the Pakatan now holds 81 out of the 222 seats in Parliament. While its rival, the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, currently has the majority, the Pakatan is confident of reversing the status quo.

It needs another 31 members of parliament to join its camp in order for it to hit the minimum simple majority required of 112 seats – a feat political observers say is not out of reach.

According to them, all it takes is for 31 backbenchers to defect to the Pakatan, or alternatively, if 30 Barisan legislators and the country’s sole independent MP opted to cross over to Anwar’s side.

The 61-year old charismatic opposition leader has already been talking with a number of disgruntled backbenchers and is confident he can gather enough support to form a new government, even though it may not happen within his targeted deadline of Sept 16.

“We definitely have sufficient numbers, but we would have to wait first as they are currently ‘enjoying Ramadan’ in Taiwan,” Anwar told reporters earlier this week, adding that he had information the MPs would not be allowed to return before Sept 16 so as to thwart his plans.

Meanwhile, analysts said early elections would inject transparency into the takeover should the Pakatan indeed succeed in their plan.

“Any new regime needs to shore up their position,” said Jacob Ramsay, political analyst for Southeast Asia at Singapore-based Control Risks Group.

“Anwar needs to get away from the perception that he is too hungry for power and to clear up perceptions that he is trying to escape from the jaws of a very unjust court case.”

Unethical

The Umno-led BN, which has lambasted Anwar’s plan as undemocratic, this week sent a large team of backbenchers on a 12-day agricultural study tour of Taiwan – sparking counter-claims of dirty tactics from its rivals.

abdullah ahmad badawi pak lah pc 050908 04Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also urged his backbenchers to reject the Pakatan’s overtures, arguing that his government was the legitimate choice of voters who in the March national polls gave the Barisan the mandate to rule for another five years until 2013.

But some experts believe it may be even less ethical for MPs to stick with the same party if their constituents no longer supported the party’s agenda or politics.

“I don’t think it is a pure question of just ethics as to whether to serve wrongly in the same party or to cross over to another party to serve the country and the people better,” said Ramon Navaratnam, chairman of Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute.

“Moving over to another political party out of good conscience and with the ‘niat‘ (intention) to serve better should in fact be welcomed if the majority of constituents generally support the move because of disenchantment they have with the political party they had voted for. The peoples’ welfare should be paramount and not that of self serving political parties,” he added.

According to Malaysian law, the king has the right to accept and formalise any new government that can show proof of sufficient mandate in Parliament. Alternatively, he could order fresh general elections, provided the prime minister – either outgoing or incoming – recommends it .

“We don’t agree it is undemocratic because our federal constitution, under article 48, does not allow an MP to resign. So if they want to shift, the only way is to cross over. This rule is put in by the Barisan itself. But having said that, we also recognise the importance to reaffirm the mandate from the people,” said Sivarasa.

“We don’t mind even if the king calls for dissolution of Parliament, that’s up to him. But we would be the new caretaker government and we will go into fresh elections making sure that it is as fair and clean as possible,” he added.

Under Article 48(6), MPs are barred from taking office for five years if they resign. Because of this technicality, only MPs who wish to retire from office resign, whereas MPs who only wish to change parties would be forced to cross over.

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Must Attend Program

Please go to this link: https://justice4allkuantan.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/invitation-public-forum-the-isa-and-the-police-reform-process-whats-next-after-pak-lah/
To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people - Emily Cox

Siphoning EPF money

On 'Why should Valuecap borrow from EPF?' Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud: MTUC condemns the government's move to bail out Valuecap to support the local stock market using RM5 billion from EPF, as the provident fund is the custodian of the workers' money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine' for the government.
If at all the EPF were to lend its money to the government, it has to be under the condition that there be transparency and accountability in the activities for which the money has been purposed. We want to know who is doing what with the money that belongs to the workers. This is the hard-earned money of the workers, their retirement plan. How is this bailout plan going to benefit the workers? We also question the reason for this bailout. If the economic fundamentals in Malaysia are strong and reserves sufficient as has been stated several times by the government, then why is there a need to offer so much money to the GLCs? Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop should prove how the EPF would profit from this loan. Bernama had reported that Nor had given the assurance that the loan given out by EPF would reap profits for the fund judging from Valuecap's past performance. But where is the paperwork and calculations to show that this move will benefit the EPF? MTUC is concerned that the loan might be mismanaged or misused and this, in turn, would affect the returns for the contributors. Mere assurances are not enough. We want to proof that this RM5 billion will not go down the drain. (The writer is president, MTUC). Sharyn: The government wants to use our pension money to prop up the Malaysian stock market which is the playing field of the rich people. If so, the government must ensure that the EPF account holders - who are predominantly the poor to average citizens of Malaysia - be guaranteed all of our pension money with a compound 8% growth (interest). It's so selfish and sick of the government to use the poor's pension money to help the rich to make more money with all the risks taken by the poor/average citizen. We can better use the RM% billion loans to Valuecap for our children's education, shelter, medical bills etc. Why not get those rich people to prop up the share market instead? Why should they park their money overseas and gamble with our EPF money instead? Kumar14: Who is behind this Valuecap organisation? Why suddenly, this separate entity is allowed to access funds from the EPF? Are they capable enough to handle it or is it just another desperate and blind move? It has been a very infamous trend where the people's funds are channeled to a company for investment purposes and suddenly POP! the funds disappear and there is nobody to be held responsible but a RM2 shell company. Charge who? Sue whom? The RM2 company (just a registered name)? We have seen this many times. People in power and with connections allow such things to go through and reap/rob the people's wealth and then blame it on organisations which actually don't exist. What if a lot of EPF funds are looted via such scams and nobody is to be pointed at? Where will the government get the funds to replenish the EPF? The people are very bored, disappointed, angry and frustrated at seeing all these dumb and unaccounted for measures being allowed by the government with lame excuses. Please, somebody verify the true purpose, integrity and capability of anybody attempting to use the people's fund.

Raja Petra

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ANWAR IBRAHIM

A prosperous future is indivisible from a firm commitment to the principles of distributive justice, the rule of law and a profound respect for human rights.

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