Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia : A response to party manifestos

Posted on April 11, 2013

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Media statement issued on 9th April, 2013

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Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) is a non-partisan, multi-ethnic, multi-faith Coalition of 25 Civil Society organizations (listed below) established in 2011 to champion the cause for a Better Malaysia.GBM has studied the manifestos of the Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional. As manifestos are designed to attract votes some difficult issues may not be included or dealt with adequately. We identified two major issues:

1.    Poverty and inequality and

2.    National debts

In the run-up to the election we urge both Barisan and Pakatan to spell out clearly their policy and road-map to tackling these two issues as they impacted on the economic and social well-being of our nation.

Poor and low income households comprising 65% of total households in Malaysia are still trapped in the inter-generational cycle of poverty and inequality and lack the capability to overcome the multi-dimensional disadvantages they face on a daily basis.  A host of social ills associated with dysfunctional families from this stratum of our society is becoming evident. Increasing rates of substance abuse, delinquency and dropouts, child abuse, crime and mental illnesses, are clear indicators that something is amiss in our beloved nation.

We need to urgently address the root causes of poverty and inequality and not just continue to treat the symptoms through handouts and 1-shirt fits all prescription.

In line with GBM’s Charter that states – “There must be equitable distribution of wealth, to eradicate poverty, end marginalization and ensure the welfare of the People. Any affirmative action must be based on needs and not ethnicity” , we reiterate our call made on 15th November 2012 to all political parties to adopt the Social Inclusion Act 2012 proposed by SABM-HAKAM (http://www.sayaanakbangsamalaysia.net/images/pics/news/DraftSocialInclusionAct.pdf) and endorsed by more than 40 Civil Society organizations.

We strongly urge both the Coalitions to establish an independent Social Inclusion Commission accountable directly to Parliament so that the issues of poverty and marginalization is addressed in a non-partisan, accountable and transparent manner.

Malaysia is reported as one of the countries that have the highest capital outflow.  Presently, the national debt has reached a highly alarming RM500 billion by the end of last year from RM274 billion in 2008. What happened to various European Union countries could also happen to us. No ‘growth versus austerity’ debate is taking place. Both coalitions may not feel comfortable to address this issue, but the rakyat need to know.

Additionally we would urge both coalitions to state clearly their position on local elections, establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and an independent Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) answerable directly to the Parliament.

We also call upon the civil society organisations and experts to discourse actively on the manifestos by organising forums and debates to enable the people to make informed decision on the voting day.

Issued by: The Executive Council of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)

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马来西亚行动方略联盟对朝野竞选政纲之回应

马来西亚行动方略联盟(行动方略)是个无党派、跨族群及跨宗教的联盟,由以下25个民间公民团体,在2011年组成,为更美好的马来西亚而奋斗。

行动方略已详阅民联和国阵所提出的大选宣言。我们认为,有关大选宣言是在争取选票的前提下所拟定,因此并没有涵括或者充分处理一些艰难的议题。我们鉴定以下两大议题必须严正以待:

1.贫穷与不平等;

2.国债。

这两大议题对我国经济与社会的福祉有莫大的冲击,在投入竞选的过程中,我们要求国阵和民联针对这两者提出清晰的政策和路线图。

贫穷和低收入家庭占我国家庭总数的65%,他们依然受困于代代循环的贫穷和不平等困境,并缺乏能力克服日常生活中所面对的多层次不利因素。社会弊病的衍生与这个社会功能失调的家庭不无关系。吸毒与滥药、少年犯罪、辍学、虐童、犯罪、精神疾病等问题日益攀升,这些指数明显反映我们心爱的国家确实生病了!

我们须迫切正视贫穷和不平等的根源,并且采取对症下药的方案。

秉持《马来西亚行动方略联盟宪章》,即“财富必须公平分配,以消除贫穷、终止边缘化,确保人民的福利。任何扶弱政策必须基于需求而非种族。”,针对行动方略在2012年11月15日所做出的呼吁,我们再次强烈呼吁各政党接纳由“我是马来西亚之子”和“马来西亚人权协会”(SABM-HAKAM )所提出,并获得超过40个公民团体联署的《2012社会共融法案》(Social Inclusion Act 2012)【】。

(http://www.sayaanakbangsamalaysia.net/images/pics/news/DraftSocialInclusionAct.pdf)

我们强烈要求朝野阵营成立一个独立的“社会共融委员会”,直接向国会负责,以跨党派、问责和透明的方式,处理贫穷和边缘化问题。

马来西亚曾在新闻报道中被列为全球资金严重外流的国家之一。我国的国债从2008年底的274亿令吉,攀升至目前的500亿令吉,涨幅惊人。这显示马来西亚也可能像欧盟各国版面对债务危机。国内目前并没有任何“经济成长与政策紧缩”辩论会,朝野阵营对此或感到棘手,但国人有获知的权利。

此外,我们促请朝野阵营对恢复地方政府选举明确表态,成立警察投诉与行为不检独立委员会(IPCMC)及独立运作的反贪委员会,并直接向国会负责。

我们也呼吁公民社会组织和专家学者,以举办论坛或政策辩论方式,积极回应朝野竞选纲领,让选民从中作出明智的抉择。

注:http://www.sayaanakbangsamalaysia.net/images/pics/news/DraftSocialInclusionAct.pdf

马来西亚行动方略联盟理事会

GBM’s 25 civil society organisations members are as follows:

1)          Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)

2)          Aliran

3)          Tamil Foundation

4)          Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (IKRAM)

5)          Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha, Krisitian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao (MPMA-BKHST)

6)          Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)

7)          Penang Chinese Town Hall (PGCTH)

8)          The Federation of Chinese Associations Johore State (FCAJ)

9)          Lim Lian Geok Cultural Development Centre (LLG)

10)      United Chinese School Alumni Association of Malaysia (UCSAAM)

11)      Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)

12)      Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

13)      Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)

14)      Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)

15)      Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas)

16)      National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)

17)      People’s Green Coalition (PGC)

18)      Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)

19)      All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)

20)      Partners in Community Organising (Pacos Trust)

21)      Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti dan Kolej di China, Malaysia (Liu-Hua)

22)      Nanyang University Alumni Malaya (Nanda)

23)      Japan Graduates Association, Malaysia (JAGAM)

24)      Gabungan Persatuan Alumni Universiti Taiwan Malaysia (GPAUTM)

25)      Islamic Renaissance Front  (IRF)