Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia : A response to party manifestos

Posted on April 11, 2013


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Media statement issued on 9th April, 2013


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 ( 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)










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)【】。








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)