DECEMBER 12 — As a rule of thumb:
Members of Parliaments should declare their assets. Assets declaration should include wife and family. There should be audit on this declaration as to the truthfulness. Political financing law should be enacted for this and enforced independently.
Even if you’re wealthy, those in public life should not should not flaunt excesses. Wife and family should exercise moderation. Otherwise perception of greed will prevail.
No politician should become billionaire or have assets more than RM100million by virtue of public office. Public office is for those who want to serve and not primarily for gaining personal wealth. Prima facie, there’s abuse of power of ill gotten gains if one or his family is a billionaire. Political financing laws should be enacted to address this.
Once a case goes to court, we should allow justice to prevail. Don’t be too partisan in selecting and spinning one side of a story. Media must report criminal trials in earnest fairly and objectively. Those following a trial must appreciate the right of reply or defence of the accused. Be fair and balanced. Make assessment based on all available facts and not selective or based on perceptions.
When one is elected in a position which has age limits, so long at the point of election he is below age, he should be allowed to continue to finish the tenure.
All political parties have a bias system to protect those in power. There appears to be no due and fair process for those victimised in politics. As a result, grievances are taken out outside the system which may even lead to brawls. There must be a proper system to be emplaced for all political parties to encourage healthy democratic politics.
It is counterproductive to blame all problems to civil servants and deep state. Issue of bureaucracy exists in every system in the world and this should be recognised and properly addressed. Civil service must serve the government of the day but has its own rules to adhere to and it must stay independent. Legislature must respect this. Blaming failure or incompetence to deep state and civil service, is unfairly victimizing the civil service. Political leaders must realise civil servants are an essential part of their arms to implement their ideas. By unfairly blaming or worse charging them, it will create a huge mistrust, loss of efficiency and a loss of a healthy platform for contribution. A leader must lead and motivate all.
Rule of law must mean the law applies to all. It must mean that there is no arbitrary exercise of power or persecution. There is no rule of law that iif one adopts the mantra “if you’re a friend no action will be taken and if you’re a foe, the full brunt of law will be taken”. A law is not meant to be applied selectively and a due process must be allowed to take its course. Partisanship and rule of law are oxymoron.
* Lukman Sheriff Alias is chairman of the Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the Universal Periodic Review Process.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.