Press Release Transparency International-Malaysia
Integrity matters for Twin By-Election
Kuala Lumpur, 7 June 2016 – It was not too long ago Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) had urged all candidates in the last Sarawak State Elections to sign the Election Integrity Pledge to declare their commitment to a clean election. In conjunctions with the upcoming twin by-elections in Sungai Besar (P093) and Kuala Kangsar (P067) that will be held on 18 June, TI-M would similarly like to urge these candidates at Sungai Besar : Budiman Mohd Zohdi (Barisan National, BN), Dr Abdul Rani Osman (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PAS) , Azhar Abdul Shukur (Parti Amanah Negara, Amanah ) and Kuala Kangsar: Datin Mastura Yazid (BN), Dr Najihatussalehah Ahmad (PAS), Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli (Amanah) and Izat Bukhary to sign the Election Integrity Pledge. The Pledge is a voluntary social contract for the candidates to pledge their commitment against bribe giving or taking and money politics during and after the electoral campaign.
TI-M hopes by signing the Election Integrity Pledge the candidates can show to the voters that they are serious and fully committed not to be involved in any illegal practices to secure votes.
TI-M would like to remind these candidates that they are simply the custodians of political power, and the power ultimately rests with the Rakyat. The Rakyatelect leaders to act on their behalf. The power returns to the Rakyat – and they in turn empower the elected. When Rakyat go to the polls and cast their votes, they aspire not only to elect their leaders, but also to choose a direction for the nation. In a free and fair electoral system, all voters should have an equal opportunity to participate in public debate and cast their ballots, all votes must be counted and all candidates’ should be placed on a level playing field.
Malaysia as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, has recognized and subscribed to the spirit, substance and norms the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) when we became a member of the United Nations in 1957. It is enshrined in the UDHR which states that “everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,” and that the will of the people “shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections”. By ensuring that elections are held with integrity, the promise of this Declaration will be fulfilled; the government will be mindful of the inherent dignity and equality of every individual, and the people’s right to have a voice in how they are governed will be respected. When fraudulent votes happen, our rights as citizens are diminished.
Also, to ensure the success of the 11th Malaysia Plan and to attain our aspiration of an advanced nation that is inclusive and sustainable by 2020, the vision of Malaysian is to have a government that delivers and is led by leaders with integrity and conviction who embrace the concept of “amanah” or being trustees. The people hope that the country will be governed by trusted leaders with the due separation and independence of the executive, legislative, and judicial institutions for the equal and fair protection of all Malaysians.
However, the challenges of electoral integrity cannot be resolved by politicians alone. The people, the civil societies and the media must be given the space to play their part in demanding accountability and transparency.
Dato’ Akhbar Satar
Transparency International Malaysia
Transparency International-Malaysia is an independent, non-governmental and non-partisan organisation committed to the fight against corruption.