Moderator’s note : This is my wish list for the rakyat. It is not exhaustive. Have your say.
If you share my aspirations, take these as your own to the non-BN leaders at the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat on Saturday and at every opportunity you get from now until polling during the 13th GE.
Persevere until we get a pledge from the leaders.
The 13th GE will very soon be upon us.
Like so many others, I, too, am resolved to see the end of UMNO /BN’s rule and rape of the nation.
We have grown weary of UMNO /BN’s empty promises and insincere sloganeering.
For the last one year now, many of us, through the rakyat-driven ABU initiative have gone to ground, be it in ceramah or through the distribution of printed material or VCDs, to take one unequivocal message to the rakyat : this next election, our vote must be for anything but UMNO /BN.
We have stepped up our efforts on the ground to get the real unadulterated news as to the state of the nation to those in the heartlands who continue to remain at the mercy of the mainstream media and its lies.
We continue in our efforts to identify where the largest numbers of foreigners who have been issued Mykads are, and to deliver unto them a stern message : stay away from the polling stations on polling day.
All this, and more, we shall continue to do up to and until polling day.
By default, candidates from your parties, DAP, PAS, PKR, PRM, PSM, SAPP and STAR Sabah, benefit from our efforts on the ground to ensure a regime change in Putrajaya post the 13th GE.
In return, we ask all of you to, firstly, recall, hold on to and honour two all-important words that I first heard Anwar Ibrahim utter on 14th April, 2008 and that many of you have since had occasion to repeat.
PEOPLE ARE THE BOSS.
If, unlike Najib’s sloganeering with his cheap “People First, Performance Now”, you have all been sincere in the use of this phrase in referencing the rakyat, I want to now put before you that which your bosses, the rakyat, expect of you.
One relates to a pre-election wish, with a view to ensuring the removal of UMNO / BN from Putrajaya post the 13th GE.
The others are reforms that we hope you, upon forming the new federal government, will take steps to implement.
Based on information from our ground operators, it is well within our reach to displace UMNO / BN from Putrajaya, with non-BN parties winning 121 parliamentary seats, leaving UMNO /BN with only 101.
This, however, turns on a two vital prerequisites.
First, the non-BN parties in Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak must all be united to the cause of ending UMNO / BN’s reign in Putrajaya.
There cannot therefore, be, as has been suggested by Jeffrey Kitingan, a Malaya Agenda and a Borneo Agenda.
There has to be one Malaysia Agenda, and that has to be to work together to end UMNO / BN’s grip on federal power and thereafter, to give effect to the reforms that the people of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak desire.
Second, in all of the 222 parliamentary seats, only one candidate from all of the non-BN parties should be offered to contest and oppose the BN candidate.
For every constituency that you, the non-BN political party leaders are unable to reach agreement so that only one candidate is offered from amongst yourselves, thus occasioning 3 or more cornered contests, we must expect that the magical 121 figure mentioned above to be correspondingly reduced.
Whilst we can expect UMNO / BN to field independent candidates in the hope of confusing voters and themselves causing 3 or more cornered contests, we expect you to not contribute to this confusion and, as such, expect you to adopt a spirit of compromise amongst yourselves, having as your priority the removal of UMNO /BN from Putrajaya rather than your respective party interests.
In this regard, we will leave to you to negotiate amongst yourselves to come to agreement on the sharing of seats.
If you fail to come to a consensus, then what?
Dr. Kua Kia Soong has mooted the idea of an objective non-partisan civil society adjudicatory committee to resolve the matter.
I think this is workable.
Where all negotiations have failed to reach a consensus on a single candidate in respect of any one or more constituencies, we propose that you collectively refer the resolution of the dispute on the candidate for that constituency or constituencies, as the case may be, to a civil society adjudicatory committee, whose decision must be accepted by all of you as final and conclusive.
For constituencies in Malaya, I would like to propose a 3-member committee, to be made up by Farouk Musa of the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) , Liao Kok Fah of the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and lawyer and blogger Azhar Azizan Harun ( aka Art Harun ), subject to these individuals agreeing to undertake this task.
I also propose that a separate 3-member civil society committee for Sabah and Sarawak be constituted under the stewardship of Simon Sipaun.
Post 13th GE Reforms
I will, for purposes of ease of reading, separate these under three headings.
A. Undoing the Injustices of the UMNO / BN Era
1. According to the people of Sabah and Sarawak their just dues under the Malaysia Agreement, 1963
Since 1976, pursuant to an agreements entered into, both Sabah and Sarawak have, up to now, received a 5% royalty for oil and gas extracted from the two territories. It must be noted here that the agreement between Sabah and Petronas was entered into in the most suspicious of circumstances.
News reports suggest that SAPP proposes that this be increased to 15%.
Pakatan, through its Buku Jingga, has mooted increasing this to 20%, whilst, unless I am mistaken, Jeffrey Kitingan’s Borneo Agenda proposes that the royalty be increased to 50%.
Respectfully, all of this begs this all-important question : if all of the oil and gas in Sabah and Sarawak belong to her people, should not all of what is left of the oil and gas reserves be applied towards the people of Sabah and Sarawak?
Not 5%, 15%, 20%, or 50% but all of it?
This question, in turn, gives rise to far more fundamental questions.
What precisely was agreed between the parties to the Malaysia Agreement, 1963?
Was it, as is contended now, intended that the four territories that came together to form Malaysia in 1963 were each to remain sovereign independent nations?
My own attempts to secure possession of all relevant documents to enable a detailed study of the same to get an answer to these questions have been futile.
I therefore propose that the new federal government post the 13th GE establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), constituted by individuals who enj0y the fullest confidence of the people of Sabah and Sarawak, with the following terms of reference :
a) to garner all documentary and testamentary evidence relating to the Malaysia Agreement, to study the same and to report to the rakyat and His Majesty as to :
i) what precisely was agreed;
ii) to detail the extent to which the agreement has not been implemented, if any; and
iii) to recommend a time-frame for the full implementation of those parts of the agreement, if any, that have not been fulfilled.
2. Addressing the needs of the poor and the marginalised
Despite being an oil-producing nation since the 70s, if we reject the UMNO / BN government’s unrealistic Poverty Line Income (PLI) and adopt a more realistic one that has been mooted by both Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia and HAKAM in advancing the cause of their proposed Social Inclusion Agenda (SIA), we will find that 40% of the rakyat live in poverty, deprived of basic amenities, and denied educational and economic opportunities.
The New Economic Policy (NEP), both on account of an ineffective top- down approach that pays no heed to the actual needs of the various marginalised communities, as well as the massive leakages of funds through wanton corruption, has failed and must be replaced with a more effective program that will both be effective as well as not allow the rerouting of resources intended for the poor through corrupt practices, to ever happen again.
The SIA has received the support of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM), a coalition of 25 NGOs.
STAR (Sabah), SAPP, PSM and PRM have endorsed the SIA and pledged to implement it if they are part of the next federal government. The DAP and PKR representatives present at the presentation of the SIA to political party representatives in September last year viewed the same positively.
Given the overwhelming support for the SIA, I call on all the non-BN leaders to pledge to implement the SIA as a matter of priority the soonest possible after they have collectively formed the federal government post the 13th GE.
3. Recovering the National Wealth lost through Corruption
Tengku Razaleigh recently proposed the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that would be tasked to recover as much of the national wealth lost through rampant corrupt practices, allowing for a period of amnesty where those who came forward and offered to make restitution would not be prosecuted for their past crimes.
I want to propose the establishment of such a Commission, to be made up of members of civil society of unquestionable integrity, and completely independent of the new government, the political parties or the civil service. and to work with the following terms of reference.
Firstly, the new government announce a total amnesty for the rank and file in the civil service and the police force for any past corrupt practices, provided the sums involved have not been huge, in which case some sort of restitution will be called for, and provided that they join the new government to usher in an era of full transparency and accountability and raise the standards of professionalism in their ranks.
As for the others, both in the public, private and corporate sector, the senior civil service and police officers, who have been privy to corrupt self-enrichment at the expense of the rakyat, a moratorium and a guarantee of amnesty be offered subject to there being full and frank disclosure followed by restitution.
B. Restoring Freedoms & State Institutions
1. All draconian laws, including the Printing Press & Publications Act, the Sedition Act, the Peaceful Assembly Act, the ISA and its proposed replacement to be repealed the soonest after the new parliament convenes.
2. A Freedom of Information Act be passed the soonest the new parliament convenes.
3. All sitting judges of the High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Courts be invited to take early retirement without loss of pension benefits.
The Judicial Appointments Commission be revamped so that :
i) names recommended by the Commission are first published for public scrutiny and to allow for a period for objections to be lodged with the commission by members of the public; and
ii) the Prime Minister, in making his recommendations to the King, may not add to the list as recommended by the Commission.
4. The IPCMC be established. At the same time, a Royal Commission of Inquiry be established to look into the salaries and benefits of the police and the armed forces and to make the necessary recommendations to increase the same and the levels of professionalism.
5. To establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the state of education and to make recommendations for its revamp.
C. Returning Power Back to the Rakyat
1. To make the necessary amendments to the law to restore local council elections.
2. To the extent that proposals by Tindak Malaysia for reforms to our electoral process will not require amendments to the constitution that would require a 2/3 majority, to effect those reforms at the soonest possible.