KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Bersih 2.0 said today it was shocked by the sentiment among some Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) delegates seeking resources and projects from the party’s position as part of the governing coalition.
The electoral watchdog reminded those delegates that it was just in May this year that Malaysians voted Barisan Nasional out over the latter’s purported abuse of power, corruption and political patronage.
“Has Tan Sri Rashid and the cheering delegates forgotten so quickly why Malaysians rejected the previous Umno-Barisan Nasional government just seven months ago?” its steering committee said in a statement, referring to PPBM vice-president Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.
Abdul Rashid in his winding-up speech yesterday during the party’s annual general meeting had urged his party leadership to channel government contracts to its division and branch leaders.
The former Election Commission chairman also said it was “stupid” to deny PPBM leaders access to government contracts — leading to standing ovations from some in the crowd.
He also asserted that PPBM must use any means necessary in order to win elections, “by hook or by crook”.
“The abuse of power by the ruling elites through the channelling of government resources, corruption and political patronage was such a revolting stench that united Malaysians said ‘enough is enough’ on May 9, 2018,” said Bersih 2.0.
It also reminded PPBM that becoming the government is not a reward, but rather a responsibility entrusted to politicians by voters.
“Serve diligently, effectively and honestly and the people will renew the contract every five years. Abuse your power to enrich yourselves and those you favour, the people will take that power from you and the law will be brought to bear on you,” it warned.
The group also lauded the PPBM Youth wing for rejection such demands, but urged party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also prime minister, to hasten implementation of electoral reforms.
This includes enacting an Administrative Neutrality Act to deal cronyism patronage, the abuse of government resources and public power for partisan purposes, in addition to a Political Financing Control Act to introduce transparency in political financing and establish rules on access to political funding, limits on contributions, expenditures, disclosures.
The group also called for Putrajaya to enhance the status, autonomy and power of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, and empower the Election Commission with prosecutorial power.