Hentikan diskriminasi peruntukan wakil rakyat pembangkang (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) mengutuk penarikan peruntukan kawasan ahli Parlimen pembangkang oleh kerajaan Perikatan Nasional (PN).

Pengguguran peruntukan sedemikian bukan sahaja satu diskriminasi terhadap pengundi di kawasan pembangkang, ianya juga adalah satu pengkhianatan besar kepada rakyat selepas pembentukan “kerajaan pintu belakang”.

Diskriminasi ini adalah legasi Barisan Nasional (BN) yang dikekalkan, walaupun dikurang sedikit oleh Pakatan Harapan (PH), yang kini menanggung kesannya sebagai pembangkang baharu.

Peruntukan parlimen ini diberikan kepada ahli Parlimen untuk menangani keperluan kritikal rakyat di kawasan mereka.

Pengundi di kawasan yang dimenangi oleh pembangkang tidak sepatutnya dihukum kerana memilih ahli Parlimen yang tidak bersama gabungan kerajaan. Sekiranya pengundi pembangkang dinafikan peruntukan, adakah ini bermakna mereka boleh dikecualikan daripada membayar cukai juga?

Semua ahli Parlimen dan ahli dewan undangan negeri patut diberikan peruntukan yang disediakan oleh undang-undang, tanpa mengira kecenderungan parti dan bukannya bergantung kepada budi bicara perdana menteri atau menteri besar/ketua menteri.

Perbelanjaan peruntukan pula perlu dipandu dengan teliti oleh garis panduan dan diodit bagi mengelakkan rasuah serta menjamin rakyat benar-benar mendapatkan manfaat daripada peruntukan tersebut.

Amalan jahat dan tidak demokratik ini yang menggunakan peruntukan parlimen untuk melemahkan wakil rakyat pembangkang dan menjadikan pengundi pembangkang sebagai tebusan adalah mentaliti “kerajaan ialah parti” yang BN amalkan sekian lama. Peruntukan sedemikian diberikan kepada “penyelaras parlimen”, yang merupakan calon prospek pilihan raya.

Penarikan peruntukan oleh PN terhadap mantan ahli Parlimen kerajaan adalah manifestasi pengembalian semula BN. Yang hanya bertukar adalah orang di dalamnya.

Pada Jun 2018, Bersih 2.0 telah membangkitkan masalah lama ini apabila ahli Parlimen Pakatan Harapan (PH) mendapat peruntukan tahunan RM500,000 manakala ahli Parlimen pembangkang hanya menerima RM100,000.

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Malangnya, kritikan Bersih 2.0 tidak didengari dan kini ahli Parlimen PH menerima karmanya kerana mereka tidak menjadikan peruntukan kawasan statutori dan tidak diskriminatif kepada semua ahli Parlimen.

Oleh itu, PH tidak mempunyai latar moral yang tinggi (moral high ground) untuk mengkritik PN jika kerajaan negeri di Selangor, Pulau Pinang dan Negeri Sembilan juga tidak menghentikan amalan pemberian peruntukan kawasan pembangkang kepada “penyelaras kawasan” mereka sendiri.

PH dan semua parti politik yang lain, mesti membuat komitmen yang jelas dalam manifesto mereka yang seterusnya untuk memberi peruntukan kawasan secara tidak diskriminatif di peringkat persekutuan.

Bersih 2.0 menuntut kerajaan persekutuan dan kerajaan negeri – yang dipimpin oleh PN, PH, BN, Pas, Gabungan Parti Sarawak dan Warisan – untuk menghentikan amalan diskriminasi sedemikian. PN harus memulihkan peruntukan kepada ahli Parlimen pembangkang.

Jawatankuasa pemandu Bersih 2.0

English version

Stop all constituency funding discrimination against opposition representatives at federal, state levels

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) condemns the reported pulling back of constituency allocations by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government for opposition MPs.

The removal of such allocations is not just discriminatory towards voters in opposition constituencies, it is also another big betrayal of the people after the forming of the “backdoor government”.

Such discrimination is a Barisan Nasional (BN) legacy that was sadly retained, though scaled down, by Pakatan Harapan (PH), which now bears the brunt as the new opposition.

Constituency allocations are meant for MPs to address the critical needs of their constituents.

Voters in the constituencies held by the Opposition should not be punished for electing MPs who are not aligned with the current ruling coalition. If opposition voters should be denied funding, should they be exempted from paying taxes too?

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All MPs and state assembly members should have equal funding that is statutorily provided regardless of party allegiance – and not at the discretion of the prime minister or menteris besar/chief ministers.

Such spending must be rigorously governed by guidelines and audited to avoid corruption and to ensure that people truly benefit from the allocations.

The unscrupulous and undemocratic practice of using constituency funding to disempower opposition representatives and hold opposition voters to ransom is a one party-state mindset that BN had practised for decades. Such funds were normally given to so-called “constituency coordinators”, who were their prospective candidates.

The PN’s pulling back of funding for former government MPs is an unconcealed manifestation of the restoration of BN, with only a change in composition.

In June 2018 Bersih 2.0 pointed out this long-standing problem when PH MPs received RM500,000 in yearly allocations while opposition MPs received only RM100,000.

Unfortunately, Bersih 2.0’s criticism fell on deaf ears, and PH MPs are suffering the karma today because they did not make constituency funding statutorily based and non-discriminatory to all MPs.

Therefore, PH has no moral high ground – [it would be like] “the pot calling the kettle black’ if its state governments in Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan do not also stop the practice of giving funds in opposition constituencies to their own “constituency coordinators”.

PH, and all other parties for that matter, must make an explicit commitment in their next manifestos to legislate non-discriminatory constituency allocations at the federal level.

Bersih 2.0 demands both the federal and state governments – helmed by PN, PH, BN, Pas, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Warisan – to stop such discriminatory practices.

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PN must restore allocations to opposition MPs.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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