This matter has come to public attention with the exposure in the media of the use of three vehicles belonging to the Information Department to facilitate the opening of BN’s election command centre for the Batu parliamentary constituency in Kuala Lumpur.In contrast there was also a media report on the return of official car’s by the chief minister of Penang and the state executive councillors and their public commitment to use public facilities for only official State matters. They have decided to use their own cars for all non-official functions which is commendable.
While there may be no explicit laws prohibiting the use of public resources, there is however a moral and public accountability principle based on public opinion today in Malaysia, that there is a difference between political party work and the work of an elected government whether at the federal or state levels.With greater public awareness of democratic values it is now felt that at no period can the government of the day at whatever level use public officials, facilities and resources for party political ends. The contemporary practice in Malaysia shows that many politicians are abusing public resources to promote their political agenda and their political parties.
This practice must stop so as to ensure that public resources are used for the common good of all citizens irrespective of political affiliations. Therefore during whatever stage of the political process as an elected public official holding a position in government at the Federal, state or local government levels they cannot use their position in public office, or during the caretaker stage or during the campaign period. Utmost care must be taken not to abuse public resources and funds.Proham proposes that there should be tighter laws on this including strengthening the monitoring process to ensure these abuses do not continue.
Proham also calls on the civil service at the federal, state and local government levels to maintain their independence and ensure a just and fair treatment to all citizens.Proham recognises that this discussion on the role of the caretaker government is a step forward for democracy and improvement in the integrity of the electoral process. All politicians and political parties must uphold a high standard in this matter and enhance parliamentary democracy and human rights in Malaysia.
Issued on behalf of Proham by Tan Sri Simon Sipaun (Chairman) and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Secretary-General)April 10, 2013