LETTERS: The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) condemns the actions of parties who seek to undermine the democratic will of the people expressed in the 14th general election on 9 May 2018 and calls for fresh elections in the wake of the current political turmoil.
The deposing of the Pakatan Harapan government by the withdrawal of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and 11 Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) members of Parliament from the coalition government is a betrayal of the electorate who voted in 2018 to change the government for the first time in 61 years since independence.
This historic win by Pakatan Harapan occurred on the back of promises made by its leaders to eradicate corruption, implement key institutional reforms and improve living standards, as set out in the PH manifesto Buku Harapan.
Any new reconfiguration, that is premised on a reported new coalition which includes UMNO (United Malays National Organisation), the dominant party in Barisan Nasional, that was expressly rejected by the electorate in GE14, invalidates and makes a mockery of the promises that were made by Bersatu and the 11 former PKR members, who were all coalition partners in Pakatan Harapan.
The machinations show that there is urgent need for accelerating and deepening the reform agenda so that the will of the PEOPLE is not thwarted. This agenda includes institutionalising human rights at the heart of Malaysia's democracy.
Thus, we reject any backdoor reconfiguration of the government and the only way for a new government to regain the rakyat’s trust in these circumstances is for parties to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate through a fresh election.
WATHSHLAH G. NAIDU, DING JO-ANN
CIJ Executive Director, CIJ Adviser
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times