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Nurul Izzah Anwar

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Nurul Izzah Anwar


Restoration before reconciliation

Posted: 14 May 2013 10:09 AM PDT

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
14 May 2013

Restoration before reconciliation

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's call for reconciliation after Malaysia's 13th General Elections is not credible so long as Barisan Nasional continues to exploit race-based politics to divide the communities in this country.

Datuk Seri Najib set the racialized tone for his party's response to the election results by calling it a "Chinese tsunami', whereas the results show a Malaysian swing against BN across racial lines.

Following this, the Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Melayu published the article "Apa lagi Cina Mahu?" and has followed it with a series of equally inflammatory articles.

BN's parliamentary majority was obtained through an election whose integrity is strongly questioned by Malaysians. More Malaysians voted for Pakatan Rakyat than for BN. A hotly contested General Election has sharpened their sense of their dignity and rights as citizens.

The government's lack of legitimacy with the Malaysian public is the issue at hand, not any manufactured need for 'reconciliation.' Malaysians of all races and religions, especially young Malaysians, have discovered and embraced their unity as citizens against corruption and racism. They will not be reconciled with the theft of their democratic rights accompanied by yet more extreme jingoism.

Malaysians want change rather than 'reconciliation'. They voted for reform that entails a restoration of democracy to this country.

Therefore I would like to reiterate the call I made in 2010 to restore democracy in Malaysia.

In the coming parliamentary sessions, I will be moving Parliament, subject to legal advice, with several Private Members' bills and other initiatives calling for political, election and parliamentary reforms. These will together provide the much-needed impetus for the rehabilitation of our nation. The reforms that needs to take place include:

1. Separation of Powers
Restoring judicial powers to the courts under Article 121(1) Federal Constitution in order that the courts are no longer subservient to Parliament but stands on the same footing as Parliament and the Executive. Coupled with this must be reforms to the Judicial Appointments Commission Act so that there is public confidence in the appointments and promotions of our Judges.

2. Electoral Reform
Implementing a comprehensive 2-year review process by a Royal Commission of all dubious citizenship registrations currently on the National Registration Department (NRD)'s database and the electoral roll.

Lowering the voter age from 21 to 18 and implementing the automatic registration of voters while removing the powers of the Election Commission (EC) to independently register voters. NRD’s database will then be the final electoral roll to be used at all elections.

Removing section 9A of the Elections Act 1958 to return judicial powers of the courts to review the electoral rolls. This measure is to ensure elections that are peaceful, credible, transparent, inclusive and acceptable to all Malaysians.

The Election Commission Chairman and his top echelon must not only have no political affiliation but should also report to an independent committee comprising of all political parties, no longer the Prime Minister as it is being practiced currently.

Redistributing or implementing a fairer and more equitable spread of seats to ensure that all Parliamentary seats will only have a maximum voter variance of 15% and that the rural-urban weightage be revised to 30% rural and 70% urban.

3. Good Governance
Implementing a wide-ranging Freedom of Information Act and the removal of the Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill 1986 where the Minister can invoke the powers in the Section 2A, which empowers him to add on, delete from or amend any of the provisions of the Schedule giving the Minister full power to label any document as a secret document by mere Gazette notification.

Amending the Petroleum Development Act to make Petronas' accounts fully available to parliamentary scrutiny and remove the Prime Minister's full discretion on the use of Petronas' finances and board appointments. The Prime Minister’s current absolute power on Petronas will be transferred to a parliamentary public accounts committee.

4. Empowering the Fourth Estate and the Third Vote
Abolishing the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the appointment of a statutory self-regulatory mechanism through a media council to cover the print, broadcast and online media.

Abolishing the unreasonable restrictions on students’ activities and their rights under the Universities and University Colleges Act and also allows student to participate and become political party members.

Abolishing the Sedition Act, and replacing it with a new Anti-Discrimination Act to stop discrimination and incitement based on racial grounds.

Reinstating local council elections, and to include communities being allowed to decide on the use of the budgets allocated to the said councils through binding town-hall meetings.

Further civil society’s standing demands to revamp the EC, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) and the formation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission should be immediately implemented.

I shall begin consultation with all Malaysians including all political parties on this new agenda for a better Malaysia. I hope that the Government will be open towards supporting these reforms.

When these reforms are implemented, we shall be our our way to a restoration of our democracy. We will have a genuine 'reconciliation' with our nature as a multiracial democracy at peace with itself.

Nurul Izzah Anwar
Vice-President Parti KEADILAN Rakyat
MP-Elect Lembah Pantai

The Malaysian Reserve | 2 May 2013

Posted: 14 May 2013 02:56 AM PDT

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