KUALA LUMPUR: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) has welcomed the commentary views expressed by the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) editorial group to put an end to incessant politicking in the country.
In doing so, the Bersih steering committee urged the component parties under the unity government to negotiate and sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the opposition which could help ameliorate recent extremist rhetoric and tone down the level of unhealthy polemics in the country.
“Bersih is of the view that the MoU could also allow focus on the recovery of the country and help create political stability.
“Hence, we urge Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin to make their commitment towards negotiating a peace deal,” it said in a statement, today.
The electoral watchdog also cited the Political Transformation and Stability MoU signed by the previous government led by former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the then opposition, Pakatan Harapan (PH), in September 2021 which enabled 13 months of political stability.
“The MoU also resulted in the passing of the anti-hopping law and some measures of parliamentary reform.
“Hence, Bersih hopes that both the unity government and Perikatan Nasional will join us to welcome the positive calls from Berita Harian, the New Straits Times and Harian Metro to end the political polemics and focus on solving the problems of the people and the country.”
It also proposed that the peace deal should incorporate 10 political arrangements and institutional reforms, including removing political control of the prime minister over the Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“An independent office of the public prosecutor should be created separately from the AG whose main function should be the government’s legal counsel.
“The MACC’s chief should be appointed through a multi-partisan parliamentary select committee to ensure its independence and impartiality.”
Among other recommendations were the reformation of the Election Commission (EC) to be more independent; implementing a Fixed Term Parliament Act for the 15th parliament to go full term until Dec 2027 and for the EC to pre-announce the default election dates; codification of provisions and processes for the parliament’s confidence mechanism; re-introduction of the Parliamentary Services Act to make parliament more independent; and implementation of a Political Financing Act with public funding for political parties to curb money politics and corruption and to meet the need of parties to fund legitimate operational cost and activities. – NST Online