Wishful Accountant has come up with his personal wishlist of what he would like opposition parties to campaign for.
My suggestions for opposition pact policies for the next election:
- Abolish all laws that allow detention without trial, i.e. the ISA-like laws (although the ISA has been abolished, others have replaced it in different guises), the Emergency Ordinance, and the Dangerous Drugs Act.
- Amend the constitution to legislate that any law that allows for detention without trial must be passed unanimously in Parliament.
- Make it mandatory for all political parties to follow the one-member, one-vote principle and not via the delegate system.
- Abolish at once the National Service programme and the Biro Tata Negara.
- Abolish all toll collections once investments and running costs have been recouped; after that, costs are to be recovered via road tax.
- Implement the Freedom of Information Act. Requests for sensitive information should be brought up for a judge to decide if divulging the information would be against the national interest.
- Legislate into the constitution that ruling and opposition members of Parliament and state assembly members get the same incentives and allocations.
- Abolish the Sedition Act and replace it with a very specific act that deals with treason against the king and nation. Criticising the government is not treason.
- Abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act and replace it with a media council made up of all parties, who will hear complaints of abuse of press freedom including character assassination.
- Replace the ISA with specific laws aimed at terrorism; even then, no detention without trial but suspects can be held for say, only 14 days, before being charged in closed/open court. (Well, the ISA has been abolished but many others kaws under the same draconian process still exist.)
- Ensure that the implementation of the 30 per cent bumiputera equity be open to all bumiputeras nationwide and not just a select few.
- Open scholarships to all under the no discrimination clause in the constitution, subject to the 30 per cent requirement for bumiputera and to be means tested – only those who are in need to receive scholarships.
- Implement open tenders for all contracts and publish the winners on a government website.
- Implement civilian oversight of the police whereby all shootings and deaths in custody trigger an immediate inquiry/coroner’s inquiry to determine justification (and this should cover all enforcement agencies).
- Ensure that police strictly follow the General Orders when apprehending suspects and allow lawyers and family member to visit arrested suspects. (The General Orders should be made known to public.)
- Hold enforcement personnel who abuse the law or who do not adhere to the law when carrying out enforcement action personally liable; they should not be allowed to hide behind an official veil.
- Examine all contentious and high-profile court cases/verdicts over the last 10 years, this to be carried out by fully professional all-party lawyers/judges/layperson, both local and foreign.
- Undertake a comprehensive review of all government ministries/agencies/departments; merge or abolish all overlapping oversight and responsibilities. Maintain the principle of only one body responsible for one service/oversight. Get parliamentary approval for any new government body or company before it is formed.
- Ensure no serving civil servants or uniformed officers receive honours until they have retired.
- Slowly increase the ratio of operating/development expenses of national budgets in favour of development; cap the salary cost of government at 40 per cent.
- Undertake a thorough examination of all salary/bonus/EPF/pension/special incentive/postgraduate study facilities forn all government-linked companies and other government-owned corporations such as Prokhas, Ekuinax, Silterra, ValueCap and Malaysian Agrifood Corp (MAFC), to name a few.
- Slowly disengage government companies from business and only allow PNB or Tabung Haji to hold companies involved in business. All other government involvement in business must be indirectly through its investment arm or trustees (and not every Tom, Dick and Harry minister opening up new companies).
- Adopt United Nation standards on the ratio of city dwellers per square mile.
- Adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Allow for free competition on all business sectors subject to 30 per cent participation, abolish the multiple licensing requirements, and allow registration with the Companies Commission of Malaysia to be the sole registration required.
- Allow for speedier processing of domestic workers and the import of vehicles. (It should be mandatory for government agencies to give the grounds for any non-approval)
- Stop the harassment of NGOs working for the betterment of society.
Wishful Accountant, who practises his trade, is a keen customer services and rights champion who spends his own time and resources chasing banks, utility providers, highway concessionaires and local councils on various public interest issues. Occasionally, he feels compelled to comment on political and social issues.