Nurul Izzah Anwar
As prime minister, it is morally imperative for you to fulfil the pledges you made during the closing address at the 5th Malaysian Student Leaders Summit on July 31, 2011, and I quote:“I am committed to electoral reform. We will undertake it. For example, there are concerns about phantom voters. We will ensure there is no chance for phantom voters.”
“Do not doubt our commitment to improving the system. We have shortcomings but no one can dispute there is democracy.”
The rakyat does not deserve to be misled yet again on the long overdue need for electoral reform with distractions by way of excuses made for changed venues, heavy-handed crackdown or selectively declaring certain groupings illegal (read: Bersih 2.0).
Instead, the focus remains on the following eight demands to realise a truly fair and free electoral process in Malaysia:
1. Clean the electoral roll
2. Reform postal ballot
3. Use of indelible ink
4. Minimum 21-day campaign period
5. Free and fair access to media
6. Strengthen public institutions
7. Stop corruption
8. Stop dirty politics
As a gentle and historical reminder YAB, the rakyat has never truly elected YAB as the prime minister of Malaysia. Hence, let this opportunity to enact comprehensive electoral reforms present YAB with the opportunity to definitively receive the rakyat’s mandate to govern.
The implementation of bold electoral reforms will also signal that YAB will no longer be held to ransom by extreme right-wing elements that have held back reforms for a better Malaysia.
YAB must also take heart in realising that embarking on reforms will also ensure YAB regains legitimacy from the rakyat against other Umno pretenders to the political throne. These pretenders must not get the better of YAB.
By fulfilling this moral imperative, YAB will effectively fulfil the conditions stipulated in Article 114 of our Federal Constitution: realising an Election Commission which enjoys the support and confidence of the rakyat.
Finally, I thank YAB for at the very least listing electoral reforms as an item that requires urgent action and sincerely hope that YAB will focus on action-oriented plans to implement the eight demands made by Bersih 2.0 before the 13th general election.
It would be immoral for YAB to hold the GE 13 without implementing the electoral reforms necessary to assure a free and fair election. A free and fair election is the cornerstone of any modern democracy, allowing for the true mandate of the electorate to choose the government of the day.
Hence, I would like to state that if YAB and BN are elected freely and fairly as the next government, then it would be my duty and honour to serve as a loyal opposition for the nation.
* Nurul Izzah Anwar is the MP for Lembah Pantai and vice-president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.