Bersih lauds govt's openness on four institutional reforms
SHAH ALAM - The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) welcomes the government's openness on equal Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and plans for four more institutional reforms.
In a statement, the Bersih steering committee said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has explicitly stated that he, in principle, has no objections in giving equal allocation of CDF between the government MPs and opposition MPs.
Bersih has for a long time argued that equal CDF was necessary to strengthen multiparty democracy and to stabilise politics by creating a level playing field through reducing incentives for elected representatives to be coerced or "seduced" for defection in order to receive the allocation.
"CDF should be provided under a parliamentary act, and not by way of Prime Minister’s discretion.
"The time has come for both the government and the opposition to sit down to negotiate on such bill, or if necessary, for the opposition to table a private member’s bill on this.
"Such laws should in fact be enacted in all states.
“It is commendable that Perak has given equal CDF to all assemblymen since December 2020 as a package deal for political stability but no legislation has been enacted yet," it said in a statement, today.
It said in the extreme case of unequal CDF, the Sarawak state government gave the government lawmakers at least RM8 million a year, but not a single sen for the opposition.
The four institutional reforms demanded by Bersih were the Political Funding bill, the Prime Minister's 10-year Tenure bill, the appointment of Parliamentary Select Committees and the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to study the separation of Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) and a politically-independent Public Prosecution Office.
Bersih hoped that the opposition would also respond positively to both the government and civil society groups to forge a common agenda on institutional reforms.