More in opinion

Opinion

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Timely call to the electorate

AS a former senior civil servant (secretary-general, Transport Ministry) and thus like all members of the G25, I humbly congratulate my former colleagues warmly for their excellent letter “Current reality in Malaysian politics” (The Star, April 16).

I sincerely believe that the deep patriotic and nationalistic sentiments expressed in the G25’s timely message have the full support of most former and current civil servants, the armed forces and police, other uniformed services and members of the entire public service like teachers and those under the big Cuepacs umbrella.

Indeed, the vast majority of the 1.6 million public servants would surely support fully the brave message from G25, which has appealed to all eligible voters to come in full force to vote.

This clarion call is particularly pertinent as we, Malaysian citizens, have a great opportunity to exercise our sacred duty to vote wisely instead of, as some plan to do, irresponsibly wasting or spoiling our precious votes. Too many Malaysians also just grumble and won’t vote. Please do so and feel better for it!

G25 has requested employers to liberally grant leave to their employees to encourage them to vote. This is essential as the Election Commission (EC) has made it somewhat difficult for voters by not holding election day on a Saturday to help the out-of-town voters to cast their votes.

The business sector must also realise that they can only prosper if there is an able government with good governance. So please do your part to make sure that we all get the best, honest, efficient and compassionate government for all Malaysians regardless of race or religion.

G25 has also urged the EC to be free and fair in conducting GE14. Already, the EC has created some public doubts with their latest redelineation exercise, the choice of Wednesday for election day and inability to reduce or erase some public concerns of possible malpractices on polling day.

As G25 has well cautioned, international and local observers will watch with eagle eyes all the happenings at the polling stations and maybe the EC itself too. So let’s work hard for legitimate election results to justify a legitimately elected government that we can all be proud of.

G25 has already mentioned the need to “restore confidence in the future of the country as a stable and mature democracy”. Will GE14 be able to restore this confidence?

G25 has called for all political parties to avoid “exploiting the issues of race and religion”. Any candidate who stoops so low as to use racial and religious sensitivities for their parochial political gain should be rejected by the voters. This will teach irresponsible politicians and candidates a good lesson and enable us to show that Malaysians are now mature. We all, especially youths, have a special responsibility to do good on this matter.

G25 also called upon the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and police to ensure that all candidates obey the law in their campaigns. This is vital as any disrespect for the law can lead to lawlessness and even instability, which can seriously affect the social sustainability and unity of our beloved country.

As an honorary commissioner of the MACC, I would also stress the need for the Commission to effectively combat and control money politics. This alone could corrupt the whole election process and distort or destroy the whole foundation of our electoral system. The MACC and police must be more determined to fight money politics and any corruption or bad practices during the elections.

GE14 provides the best opportunity we’ve had so far to strengthen the growth and development of a more meaningful “two-party electoral system” that is less race- and religious-based. There should therefore be more national socio-economic and political structural issues to debate and discuss during the election campaigning. We have to ensure that the best candidates are elected to serve our people fairly and justly and on a sustainable basis.

We hope and pray that we will all strive to fulfil the amanah which the Almighty has blessed us with to do our duty to fully support the G25 stand and message to serve God, King, country and our Malaysian society to the best of our abilities.

May the best candidates, political parties and promises prevail. And God bless Malaysia!

TAN SRI RAMON NAVARATNAM

Asli Chairman of Public Policy Studies