Darurat untuk menangguhkan pilihan raya bukan jalan terbaik (Malay/English)

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) merujuk nasihat yang telah diberikan oleh perdana menteri kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk memproklamasikan darurat agar penangguhan pilihan raya kecil Batu Sapi dapat dibuat.

Namun demikian, kami percaya bahawa proklamasi darurat yang telah dicadangkan oleh perdana menteri mungkin bukan jalan terbaik kepada demokrasi kerana masih banyak kaedah pilihan raya yang lebih proaktif boleh diambil oleh Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) dan badan-badan penguatkuasa yang terlibat dalam pilihan raya.

Bersih 2.0 berpandangan bahawa pilihan raya masih dapat dijalankan dengan selamat dan cekap walaupun kita masih bertarung untuk keluar daripada penularan Covid-19.

Perkara ini telah dibuktikan di beberapa buah negara dalam dunia seperti Singapura, Korea Selatan, New Zealand, Perancis, Australia dan Jerman yang melaksanakan pilihan raya umum serta pilihan raya kerajaan tempat di negara masing-masing. Justeru, kami yakin bahawa pilihan raya boleh dijalankan dengan syarat yang ketat.

Cadangan Bersih 2.0

Bersih 2.0 ingin memberikan cadangan untuk pertimbangan kerajaan bagi pelaksanaan pilihan raya di Batu Sapi dan pilihan raya-pilihan raya yang lain sekiranya wujud keperluan berbuat demikian:

Darurat mengancam demokrasi

Bersih 2.0 berpendirian bahawa dengan membenarkan darurat untuk menangguhkan pilihan raya akan membuat satu duluan (precedent) yang berbahaya kepada demokrasi negara kita – kerana pihak mempunyai kuasa seperti perdana menteri akan cenderung untuk menangguh pilihan raya apabila terdapat situasi yang tidak menyebelahi pihak beliau.

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Selain itu, termaktub di dalam Perlembagan Persekutuan bahawa darurat hanya boleh diisytiharkan atas faktor keselamatan awam, kehidupan ekonomi dan ketenteraman awam.

Memandangkan Parlimen sedang bersidang sekarang, pihak kerajaan boleh membawa usul untuk meminda atau menggubal undang-undang baharu bagi menangguhkan pilihan raya apabila mendapat sokongan sekurang-kurangnya dua pertiga ahli Dewan Rakyat.

Penangguhan pilihan raya yang semata-mata berpandukan keputusan eksekutif tidak sewajarnya dijadikan amalan demokrasi di dalam negara – kerana kita masih mempunyai cabang legislatif sebagai salah satu cabang kerajaan. Di sini pentingnya cabang legislatif atau Parlimen untuk terus menjalankan fungsi mereka sebagai institusi semak dan imbang kepada kerajaan.

Selain itu, kita perlu menerima hakikat bahawa pandemik coronavirus ini tidak akan berakhir dalam masa terdekat, malah mungkin akan terus ada untuk tempoh satu atau dua tahun lagi.

Andainya darurat menjadi kaedah untuk menangguhkan pilihan raya sehingga wabak ini selesai, adakah ianya bermaksud bahawa rakyat di Batu Sapi atau di mana-mana kawasan yang perlu diadakan pilihan raya atau pilihan raya umum akan datang selepas ini akan terus tidak mempunyai wakil mereka di Parlimen untuk tempoh satu atau dua tahun juga? Bagaimanakah suara rakyat di Batu Sapi akan didengari di Parlimen selepas ini?

Penutup

Atas sebab-sebab dan cadangan-cadangan yang dinyatakan di atas, Bersih 2.0 berpandangan bahawa Malaysia perlu dan mampu menunjukkan kepada dunia bahawa kita boleh mengendalikan pilihan raya dengan kaedah terbaik dan tidak merisikokan kesihatan pengundi.

Selain itu, kita juga dapat menunjukkan jalan bahawa demokrasi tidak sewajarnya dikorbankan malah boleh berdiri kukuh terutama dalam keadaan yang luar biasa seperti wabak Covid-19 ini.  

Jawatankuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0

English version

Declaring emergency to postpone elections not the best alternative

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) refers to the emergency proclamation as advised to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) by the prime minister to postpone by-election in Batu Sapi.

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We believe the emergency proclamation proposed by the prime minister may not be the best way to uphold our democracy as there are still many other proactive electoral measures that can be taken by the Election Commission and the enforcement bodies involved in elections.

Bersih 2.0 is of the view that elections can still be conducted safely and efficiently even though we are still in the middle of a Covid-19 health crisis. This has been proven in several countries in the world such as Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, France, Australia and Germany, which have held general elections as well as local government elections in their respective countries. Therefore, we are confident that elections can still be conducted with strict standard operating procedures.

Bersih 2.0 proposal

Bersih 2.0 would like to suggest the following to the government in conducting the by-election in Batu Sapi and any other election, if there is a need to conduct one:

Declaring an emergency threatens democracy

Bersih 2.0 is of the view that allowing an emergency to postpone the election would create a precedent that could undermine our nation’s democracy because those in power like the prime minister may postpone elections when the situation is unfavourable to them.

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Also, it is enshrined in the Federal Constitution that emergencies can only be declared on the grounds of public safety, economic life and public order.

As Parliament is currently sitting, the government can bring a motion to amend or enact a new law to postpone the election with the support of at least two-thirds of the Dewan Rakyat members.

Postponement of elections solely based on executive decisions should not be a democratic practice because the nation still has a legislative branch as one of the branches of the government that is needed to continue to function as an institution that provides checks and balances on the government.

Besides, we need to accept the fact that this Covid-19 pandemic will most likely linger among us for a year or two. If an emergency becomes a method to postpone elections until the outbreak is over, does that mean that the people in Batu Sapi or in any constituency where elections are to be held or the upcoming general election will continue to have no representative in Parliament for one or two years too? How will the voice of the people of Batu Sapi be heard in Parliament after this?

Conclusion

With the reasons and suggestions mentioned above, Bersih 2.0 believes that Malaysia needs to show the world that we can conduct elections in the best way possible without risking the voters’ wellbeing.

Also, we believe democracy should not be sacrificed but must be upheld strongly, especially in extraordinary circumstances such as the coronavirus epidemic.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

20 November 2020

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