MP SPEAKS | The most unexpected prime minister in Malaysian history, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, must not miss the opportunity to make history by making the July/August meeting of Parliament a historic “Reform Parliament”.
He can do this by asking the cabinet tomorrow to instruct and empower the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to make the 14-day meeting of Parliament from July 18 to Aug 4 a historic Reform Parliament by implementing a number of reform measures.
The measures would include making into law the anti-party-hopping legislation for MPs and the abolition of mandatory death sentence legislation.
Wan Junaidi said yesterday that the government expected to table the necessary amendments to abolish mandatory death sentences in 11 law provisions during a Parliament session in October and that January 2023 will be the deadline for the implementation of the abolition of mandatory death sentences in Malaysia.
The cabinet tomorrow should press Wan Junaidi to present the necessary amendments to abolish mandatory death sentences in the July/August meeting of Parliament.
If this cannot be done, it should come out with a clear commitment to present the necessary legislative amendments in Parliament by October.
There should also be firm cabinet commitments, namely:
A moratorium on the execution of the death penalty during the interim
Making public the Richard Malanjum Report on the Alternative Punishments to the Mandatory Death Penalty
Parliament will not be dissolved for the 15th general election until royal assent is given for the anti-party-hopping legislation and the abolition of the mandatory death penalty
The July/August 2022 meeting of Parliament will really be historic if it could also act on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s advice to formulate a long-term plan to ensure that Malaysia can achieve its aspiration to be a world-class great nation by returning to the nation-building principles that our founding fathers have agreed in the Malaysian Constitution and Rukun Negara.
These principles include constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy, separation of powers, rule of law, good governance, public integrity, respect for human rights, Islam as the religion of the nation, freedom of worship for all other religions, and national unity from our multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious, and multi-cultural diversity, where there are no first or second-class citizens whether based on race, religion, or region.
Falling short of goals
In the last half a century, Malaysia lost its way and is in danger of becoming a failed state in the next few decades if there is no reset of the nation-building principles set out in the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara.
Why did Malaysia fail to achieve the 30-year Vision 2020 to create a Bangsa Malaysia and meet the nine strategic challenges in Vision 2020?
We have failed in the National Integrity Plan for Malaysia to be among the top 30 countries with the least corruption by 2008.
We cannot even fulfil the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (MEB) objective to spearhead the educational transformation of the country as we are set to flop in the MEB objective to be above the global average.
We are also failing to be in the top one-third of countries in international educational standards in global assessments like the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) by 2025.
This July/August 2022 Parliament meeting will be even more historic if it could initiate a new anti-corruption campaign in view of worsening corruption at all levels in the country as illustrated by the following developments:
The recent revelation that the former chief secretary to the government was paid RM30,000 a month for doing nothing in 1MDB and the shocking disclosure that this is not an isolated case in government-controlled companies (GLCs)
Malaysia’s trajectory in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index in the last 27 years, if not reversed, will result in Malaysia becoming one of the most corrupt nations in Asia
The need for political and religious leaders to show a good example of public integrity and anti-corruption
There is no greater fillip to the new national anti-corruption campaign than for the prime minister to launch a clean-up of GLCs and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) by revealing in the July/August 2022 Parliament the salaries and allowances of all the heads of the GLCs and GLICs.
This includes 1MDB, Petronas, Khazanah, EPF, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH), Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), Axiata Group Bhd, Telekom Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional, the National Trust Fund (Kwan), Kumpulan Wang Pesaraan (Kwap), the Ministry of Finance Inc (MoF Inc), Maybank, Sime Darby Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings, MISC Bhd, Proton Holdings, and the Malaysian Resources Corporation.
In August last year, the government launched Perkukuh with 20 initiatives to reform Malaysia’s GLCs and GLICs, but sorely lacking was the need to make the GLCs and GLICs models of accountability, transparency, and public integrity, as the GLCs and GLICs had been corrupted by politicians.
Will BN MPs from Umno, MCA, and MIC, under the leadership of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi support such an anti-corruption campaign by Parliament?
LIM KIT SIANG is the Iskandar Puteri MP.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.