Special conference to discuss issue of hung Parliament

Bersih chairman Thomas Fann (second from the right) during the press conference in Parliament on Tuesday.

KUALA LUMPUR - A round table conference organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) and Bersih Global on Tuesday saw government politicians, opposition, experts within and outside the country, civil society leaders, academics, and student groups gather to discuss democracy practises in Malaysia.

Bersih chairman Thomas Fann said that held for the first time in Parliament, the meeting also received cooperation from the Dewan Rakyat Speaker and Deputy Speaker offices as well as the Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF).


"We also received full support from the European Delegation to Malaysia, the Australian High Commission in Malaysia, and the Canadian High Commission in Malaysia to conduct the two-day programme on May 9 and 10.

"The discussion framework will touch on the opportunities and measures to improve democracy practises in Malaysia through the context of the 15th general election (GE15) where no party won a simple majority in parliament based on results," he said at a press conference at the Parliament Conference Hall on Tuesday.


He added the discussion titled ‘Deepening Democracy in Malaysia: Making the Coalition Government and Hung Parliament Work," which featured representatives from prominent democratic nations to share their experiences on the matter.

"The hung parliament did not only occur in Malaysia; other democratic countries across the world and some nations that also faced similar situations have managed to find ways to make the hung parliament work and the government stable.


"So, experts from Sweden, Finland, Germany, Canada, Australia, and the Philippines have shared their experience and expertise on the matter," he said.

A hung parliament is a situation where no party or coalition has obtained a majority of seats in Parliament.


Thomas said the overall objective of the process was to ensure political stability, which the unity government needed to implement policies and reforms.

"The discussion will include important issues such as resolving the reform elections, increasing representation, and political financing," he said.

The report outlining the main recommendations resulting from the discussion would be published after the roundtable forum concluded.

However, the immediate results of the first round table in parliament will raise awareness among citizens and stakeholders about the benefits, practises, and challenges of multi-party coalitions around the world and give them a deeper understanding of how they could be used in a Malaysian context.