Group bids for parties to adopt openness, transparency reforms

Transparency International (TI) Malaysia executive committee member Chew Phye Keat said a major point of the memorandum is to include public opinion into all levels of government such as budgeting and even holding a local council elections. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Transparency International (TI) Malaysia executive committee member Chew Phye Keat said a major point of the memorandum is to include public opinion into all levels of government such as budgeting and even holding a local council elections. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PETALING JAYA, March 5 — A coalition of non-governmental organisations is attempting to have political parties adopt its demands for transparency and accountability, starting with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia today.

Calling itself Governance, Integrity, Accountability, and Transparency (GIAT), the coalition is asking the next government to provide greater access to information, more public consultation, introduce mandatory asset declarations for politicians, and guarantee the independence of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The five main points are contained in a memorandum that GIAT is attempting to convince political parties to include in their individual manifestos for the 14th general election.

Transparency International (TI) Malaysia executive committee member Chew Phye Keat said a major point of the memorandum is to include public opinion into all levels of government such as budgeting and even holding a local council elections.

“We want parties to champion a participatory democracy where public opinion is taken more seriously into consideration of designing new laws and policies,’’ he said.

GIAT includes the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), the Sinar Project, TI-M, Friends of Kota Damansara, MyPJ and the Society for the Protection of Human Rights (Proham).

PPBM strategy and policy bureau chairman Rais Hussin, who accepted the memorandum, said GIAT’s demands were consistent with what was practised in developed countries.

“We welcome their demands and will study it and perhaps include some of their recommendation into the Pakatan Harapan manifesto,’’ he said.

The Pakatan Harapan manifesto will be unveiled on March 8 at the Ideal Convention Centre Shah Alam.

Rais also threw in a challenge for Barisan Nasional to debate the federal opposition to openly debate their individual manifestos.

“We are sure that the manifesto that we put forth is pragmatic, practical and deliverable instead of fitting into political whims and fancies,’’ he said.   

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