BERSIH 4: The Time Has Come
Media Statement 29 July 2015
The time has come for Malaysians to come forward to demand for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s resignation and a host of institutional reforms to put an end to prime-ministerial corruptions since Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time. All Malaysians are now paying a huge price for the RM42 billion scandal of 1MDB amongst other incidences of corruption, leakages and mismanagement.
Najib has virtually ruled out all possibilities for truth on the 1MDB scandal to be unearthed and criminals to be brought to justice by a series of his political moves on 27 and 28 July:
- The abrupt and arguably unconstitutional removal of Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail. Since the AG’s Chambers is one of the four agencies of the Special Taskforce on 1MDB investigation, the removal of the AG is a direct interference in the AG Chamber’s work and is meant as a warning signal to the other three agencies: the Police, Bank Negara and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. The constitutionality of such removal — not done on the like grounds and in the like manners as a Federal Court judge — has been rejected or questioned by many parties including the Bar Council.
- The co-optation of four out of 13 members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into the administration, namely Chairperson Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (as deputy home minister), Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (as deputy foreign affairs minister), Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (as deputy tourism and culture minister) and Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau (as science, technology and innovation minister). As PAC members cannot be holding executive positions, these appointments are Najib’s unscrupulous plot to disable PAC, the only other public institution which is pursuing the 1MDB scandal with the support of the Auditor General’s Office. The acceptance of executive appointments by Nur Jazlan and his three colleagues is a betrayal of the public trust on PAC to act on 1MDB.
- Continued and worsened power concentration through cabinet reshuffle with the retention of the Finance Minister portfolio by Najib himself and the appointment of Zahid Hamidi as Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) who continues to hold the Home Minister portfolio. Zahid has just ordered the three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for exposés on the 1MDB scandal. That the PM and DPM simultaneously hold two powerful ministries of Finance and Home Affairs depletes any hope of independent investigations without more attempts to cover up corruption and silence critics.
Holding the view that corruption at the highest level in Malaysia was caused by three malaises, manipulated elections, power concentration at the Executive, and repression of dissents, BERSIH 2.0 demanded 10 institutional reforms:
- Electoral reform
- Making the Election Commission a constitutional party answerable to Parliament
- Barring Prime Minister from simultaneously holding the office of Finance Minister
- Parliamentary Reform
- Making MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) answerable to Parliament
- Separating Attorney General from the role of Public Prosecutor
- Freedom of Information laws at Federal and State levels
- Public declaration of Ministers and senior government servants’ assets
- Repeal of/Amendments to draconian laws
- Establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)
As immediate measures to restore public confidence in the investigation, BERSIH 2.0 demanded the following four actions:
- Najib to make public his bank account details, in particular, clarify if the AmBank accounts existed in his name and, if so, show the transaction details for the dates in question.
- Najib to take leave as the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and all other public offices he holds pending investigation.
- Najib’s, his spouse’s and his children’s accounts to be frozen.
- All findings of investigation by Bank Negara, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Police, and the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 1MDB and related companies to be made public in the fastest time possible.
Najib is taking every possible move to protect corruption. He arrogantly ignores the humble wish of Malaysians for integrity and justice. He has lost every ounce of legitimacy to stay in office.
BERSIH 2.0 is dedicated to an electoral system and system of governance that is free, fair and open. Given the depth of corruption that has been alleged, the allegations that this money was used to manipulate the GE13 and the implication of the highest political office in the land, the credibility of the very institutions of government is at stake. To restore confidence in the processes of government and to allow the continued dynamism of the local economy, the Prime Minister must tender his resignation.
BERSIH 2.0 hereby declares that the Bersih 4 rally will be held on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu from August 29th, 2pm to August 30th. We invite all patriotic Malaysians to join the rally to demand for Najib to step down and the institutional reforms to be implemented so as to end prime-ministerial corruption.
BERSIH 2.0 demands:
- Clean Elections
- Clean Governments
- Save our economy
- Right to Dissent
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which consists of —
Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; Deputy Chairperson: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Treasurer: Masjaliza Hamzah; national representatives: Assoc. Prof. Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusof, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, and Fadiah Nadwa Fikri; vice-chairpersons: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula).