'Two RCIs needed on electoral system and local elections'

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COMMENT | The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) calls upon all political parties to commit to appointing two Royal Commissions of Inquiry (RCIs) on Malaysia’s electoral system and local elections if they win power.

Bersih stresses, regardless whichever parties or coalitions win, Malaysian politics will continue to be plagued by communalism and corruption, if how our federal, state and local governments are put in their place is not fundamentally reformed.

However, Malaysians need to deliberate and debate on concrete alternatives that must be in a package, so that the new system can have the widest possible acceptability and legitimacy. This makes the RCIs the best way to ensure an inclusive national conversation before any changes.

If a national consensus is reached, the proposed changes can then be introduced before the 15th general election (GE15). Otherwise, the proposals can be decided in the GE15 as voters can choose to support parties which support or oppose the changes.

As the establishing of RCIs are not the same as imposing change abruptly, refusal to do so means a party is totally against reforms to our electoral system and local governments. Voters must use their votes to pressure parties into committing to these two RCIs.

Bersih would like to suggest the concrete scope of these two proposed RCIs, and call upon all pro-democracy groups and individual citizens to deepen the discussion...