By National Human Rights Society Malaysia (HAKAM), Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4), Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM), Negara-Ku People’s Movement
The nation is in crisis. The numerous financial scandals, falling ringgit, implementation of GST, and curtailment of our fundamental freedoms have resulted in a loss of trust and public confidence in the government. Transparency and accountability are non-existent. Those exercising the levers of power are not using them for the public good. There is scant attention by the leadership to the economic crisis and the hardship faced by the people. The unbridled corruption against a background of diminishing civil and political rights, has created an environment of uncertainty and the welfare of the people does not appear to be a priority.
Therefore, in the interest of the people and the nation, we, the undersigned members of civil society, present an action plan to arrest the crisis and to restore the nation to an even keel.
The aim of this action plan is to provide a solution to the present crisis.
I. We are confident that full acceptance and implementation of this action plan will have the following effects, namely to :-
a) Restore the confidence of the people of Malaysia and members of the international community in the government of the day;
b) Address the immediate and urgent problems of the people of Malaysia both in terms of economic as well as social issues;
c) Allow the people of Malaysia to live in peace, security and dignity to fulfill their individual goals and aspirations in the knowledge that their fundamental freedoms are protected; and
d) Promote the harmonious co-existence of people of all communities.
In putting forward this action plan, we applied the following overarching principles:-
1. Malaysia is built on the fundamental pillars of democracy and the rule of law where the Federal Constitution is supreme;
2. Transparency, accountability and good governance are critical in maintaining a credible government;
3. Institutions have a duty to act independently and without fear or favour in upholding public interest;
4. Core principles of the rule of law that must be upheld include the following:-
a) No one is beyond or above the law;
b) Everyone is equal before the law; and
c) Everyone is entitled to due and fair process of the law.
5. Everyone is entitled to their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental liberties which include freedom of speech, expression and association;
6. All citizens have the constitutional and inherent right to participate in and therefore to know and be informed about, public issues affecting their lives, rights and livelihood.
With these objectives and principles in mind, members of civil society wish to present the Demi Rakyat Action Plan.
1. FORMATION OF NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
I. The Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak must immediately respond in public to the serious allegations of financial impropriety and in particular, must account for public monies reportedly paid directly into his account;
II. Recognising the need to preserve the sanctity of the office of the Prime Minister and the need to put the nation and the people above personal and party interest, the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak shall take a leave of absence until full investigations of these allegations; and
III. Thereafter, and in any event within one week thereof (the effective date), an emergency parliamentary session be convened to constitute a National Government from amongst members of parliament from all sides of the political divide. It is crucial that all members of parliament put aside their political differences in the interests of the people and the nation to bring stability and confidence back to the nation.
2. FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS
The National Government shall hold free and fair elections within 18 months of the formation of the National Government and shall immediately appoint independent Election Commissioners who enjoy public confidence and who shall proceed to clean up the electoral process for the general elections.
3. ADDRESSING THE SCOURGE OF CORRUPTION
I. The National Government shall make the eradication of corruption in all sectors including the eradication of political patronage, a priority;
II. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) shall be further empowered by making changes to its structure, composition, mandate and relevant laws; and
III. Steps shall be taken to strengthen the protection and immunity for whistleblowers by ensuring they are free from intimidation, and by reforming the Whistleblowers Act 2010.
4. RESTORING FUNDAMENTAL LIBERTIES UNDER THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION:
I. The National Government shall immediately repeal all legislation that restrict media freedom and revoke the restrictions and bans imposed on all media including The Edge and the Sarawak Report;
II. SUHAKAM shall be tasked with examining and making recommendations for the repeal of laws that curtail and threaten fundamental liberties, within a period not exceeding 3 months from the effective date and thereafter to present the recommendations for reform to the National Government for implementation;
III. Pending the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948, charges against individuals under this legislation shall be suspended and upon its repeal, all charges shall be withdrawn; and
IV. The National Government shall take steps to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
5. INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIONS AND THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO RECEIVE INFORMATION
I. The Task Force undertaking investigations into the 1MDB and other financial scandals shall act independently and without fear or favour or interference from any external parties. In this regard, the Task Force must remain accountable to the public and issue bi-weekly reports to the public in view of the seriousness of the task undertaken by them.
II. The Auditor General’s report and all other reports into the 1MDB and other financial scandals must be made immediately available to the public.
6. ALLEVIATING THE HARDSHIP OF THE PEOPLE
The following priority measures must be taken to lessen the burden of the people:-
I. A moratorium on the GST;
II. Providing further aid and housing for all those who have lost their homes in recent natural disasters; and
III. Strengthening the economy and restoring the integrity of our financial system and in this regard, the corporate sector, business community, relevant experts and other stakeholders are to recommend appropriate measures.
7. SOCIAL COHESION
In order to promote social cohesion and respect amongst all communities in Malaysia, the National Government shall call upon the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to formulate guidelines and laws to combat divisiveness and hate speech. The National Government must lead in promoting social cohesion and in condemning divisive actions.
8. PUBLIC CONSULTATION
I. The National Government shall draw up their plans for the nation with the free, prior and informed consent of the public through town hall meetings, roundtable discussions and meetings involving relevant NGOs, academicians, think tanks, and media activists; and
II. The National Government shall within a time frame of 3 months from the effective date, report to the people of their plan for the implementation of these proposals and demands for reform.
It must be understood that this action plan does not address general policy issues which will be the ultimate responsibility of the government that is elected by the people through free and fair elections.
President, National Human Rights Society Malaysia (HAKAM)
On behalf of:-
National Human Rights Society Malaysia (HAKAM), Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4), Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM), Negara-Ku Movement.
July 28, 2015