Memorandum persefahaman antara kerajaan dan PH adalah diperlukan (Malay/English)

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Is this what the ‘New Deal’ is all about, we wonder?

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) mengalu-alukan pengumuman bersama oleh wakil-wakil daripada kerajaan dan Pakatan Harapan bahawa mereka akan menandatangan satu memorandum persefahaman tranformasi dan kestabilan politik pada 13 September pada pukul 5 petang di Dewan Banquet Parlimen Malaysia.

Ini adalah pencapaian yang jarang antara kerajaan dan pembangkang dalam politik Malaysia di mana semangat rentas parti diutamakam berbanding retorik jahat, tindakan bersendirian dan politiking yang tidak berkesudahan. Persefahaman ini berpaksi kepada keperluan kestabilan politik bagi pengurusan pandemik Covid yang lebih baik dan memulihkan ekonomi.

Bersih 2.0 mengalu-alukan janji untuk menerbitkan butiran persefahaman itu semasa majlis menandatangan agar rakyat Malaysia bukan sahaja dapat menjadi saksi kepada perjanjian tersebut bahkan dapat mempertanggungjawabkan mereka untuk memenuhi terma yang dijanjikan.

Namun demikian, kami mendapati parti lain di kerusi pembangkang iaitu Warisan, Pejuang, Parti Sarawak Bersatu dan ahli Parlimen bebas tidak dilibatkan di dalam memorandum persefahaman (kami tidak tahu sama ada dijemput atau tidak). Kami mengharapkan manfaat reformasi institusi termasuklah peruntukan pembangunan kawasan dan perwakilan dalam jawatankuasa pilihan khas parlimen akan dipanjangkan juga kepada semua ahli Parlimen pembangkang dan bukan terhada kepada ahli Parlimen PH sahaja.

Walaupun dokumen bersejarah ini dipanggil memorandum persefahaman, pada dasarnya ia adalah perjanjian keyakinan dan pembekalan di mana pelaksanaan beberapa reformasi institusi dan polisi dipersetujui sebagai pertukaran kepada sokongan pembangkang kepada kerajaan untuk undi percaya dan rang undang-undang belanjawan. Pembangkang bukan sebahagian daripada kerajaan dan bebas untuk undi menentang rang undang-undang lain jika mereka rasakan perlu.

Kami ternanti-nanti kandungan memorandum tersebut namun yakin bahawa tujuh paker reformasi yang ditawarkan oleh Ismail Sabri Yaakob pada 10 September akan dimasukkan, ditambahkan lagi dengan reformasi yang PH utarakan. Sebarang reformasi institusi yang dicapai daripada memorandum persefahaman ini akan memanfaatkan semua parti politik hari yang mendatang kerana ia akan meratakan padang permainan politik dan mula menamatkan situasi yang menang dapat semua.

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Lebih utama lagi, ia akan memberi manfaat kepada rakyat apabila kerajaan, Parlimen dan institusi utama mula bekerja untuk dan melindungi kepentingan rakyat berbanding ahli politik. Dalam demokrasi, ahli politik perlu bersaing sesama sendiri untuk menghasilkan polisi yang lebih baik dan undang-undang yang akan menaikkan taraf hidup rakyat.

Reformasi institusi menjamin semua parti bersaing secara adil dan mempunyai semak dan imbang yang mencukupi untuk mencegah penyalahgunaan kuasa dan korupsi. – Bersih 2.0, 13 September

English version

MoU between government and PH a necessary step forward but it must be inclusive

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) welcomes the joint announcement by the representatives of the government and Pakatan Harapan that they will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for transformation and political Stability on 13 September at 5pm in the Banquet Hall of Parliament House.

This is a rare achievement between the government and opposition in Malaysian politics, where bipartisanship triumphs over spiteful rhetorics, one-upmanship and mindless politicking. The agreement pivots on the need for political stability in order to better manage the Covid pandemic and restore the economy.

Bersih 2.0 also welcomes the promise to publish the details of the MoU in full at the signing, allowing the Malaysian public not only to witness the agreement but also to hold both parties accountable to fulfill the terms within it.

However, we noted that the other parties in the opposition bench, namely Warisan, Pejuang, Parti Sarawak Bersatu and two independent MPs are not party to the MoU (whether they were invited or not, we do not know). We strongly hope the benefits of institutional reforms, including equal constituency development funds and representation in parliamentary special select committees, would be extended to all MPs on the opposition bench and not restricted to only PH parliamentarians.

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While this historic document is called an MoU, it is essentially a confidence-and-supply agreement, where in exchange for the implementation of some policies and institutional reforms, the opposition agrees to support the government in votes of confidence and supply (Budget) bills. The opposition will not be part of the government and is free to vote against any other bills as they deem fit.

We look forward to the details of the MoU but we believe that the seven-point reform package offered by Ismail Sabri Yaakob on 10 September will be included, as well as additional reforms that PH may have requested. Any institutional reforms achieved from this MoU will benefit all political parties in the coming days as they would have the effect of levelling the political playing field and start to bring an end to the current winner-takes-all situation.

More importantly, it would benefit the People when governments, Parliament and key institutions start working for and protecting the interests of the people instead of the politicians’. In a democracy, politicians should compete with each other to come up with better policies and laws that would improve the lives of the People. Institutional reform ensures that all parties compete fairly, and there are adequate checks and balances to prevent abuses of power and corruption. – Bersih 2.0, 13 September

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