Immediate Political Ceasefire Among All Political Parties!

Immediate Political Ceasefire Among All Political Parties!

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Joshua Chew started this petition to ISTANA NEGARA and

Dear All Malaysians,

The turbulent and frustrating political development in Malaysia amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has really worried me as a concerned citizen. The "White Flag Campaign" or the #benderaputih movement signals that increasingly more Rakyat will be plunged into distress and more businesses will fold up if the lockdown keeps prolonging without good exit strategies. I believe each and everyone of you who are reading this right now are feeling the same urgency as well.

Therefore, I would like to call on all stakeholders for immediate political ceasefire and to act on the following:

1. Many are not satisfied with the performance of the government of the day in managing this crisis. But will changing one at this point of time do any real good to our country? I believe not due to the unstable and uncertain political landscape we are in now. So long as no one coalition or prime minister can command an absolute majority in the parliament, there will be no end to the problem. And it will just create another limbo and more power grabs.

I understand that Malaysia practices Constitutional Monarchy. However, as we are in a warlike situation now, hence I appeal to Istana Negara to take a more proactive and assertive approach within the constitution.

Istana Negara should become the mediator among all warring parties. There is a time and a place for everything. Hence, Istana Negara should make their stance firm and clear that all political leaders must set aside any differences, stop politicking, and work hand in hand together in whatever way possible. Istana Negara should also be firm and clear that no general election will be allowed until we are out of this crisis even if one tries to trigger it.

As much as we feel angry and resentful about this so-called "backdoor government", we should all come to terms that having a general election now is seriously not feasible and remaining status quo is the best compromise solution. Hence, Istana Negara should make their stance firm and clear that they have full confidence in this government. This is for the sake of political stability and to put any power grabs to rest which will allow the government to concentrate on managing this ever-serious crisis.

2. Other than YB Khairy Jamaluddin and a very few others, the current cabinet is so bloated and inefficient, seated with non-performing ministers. And often the advice provided by experts go unheeded. We, be us as an ordinary citizen or a government official should not be in denial and pretend that all is well.

Setting up a body or council of experts similar to the National Operations Council or MAGERAN in 1969 is one way of fixing this. The idea of this council is not to paralyse or supersede the current government in any way. It will still be headed by the incumbent prime minister.

The only difference between the council and cabinet is that it sets aside political differences, stops all politicking, and allows political leaders from both sides of divide with competencies, civil society organizations, business and industry associations, think tanks, academics, and professionals from various fields to focus on solving the health, economic, and social issues currently plaguing this country together.

3. The quality of parliamentary debates by our Members of Parliament has always been controversial and sometimes even become a laughingstock of the people. Often, they behave so unwisely and immaturely in the Dewan Rakyat.

This has cast doubt on the forthcoming five-days parliament sitting starting July 26. The August House should become a stage for inclusive and constructive policy debates and a venue for the Rakyat's voices, with grievances addressed, hope restored and solutions to problems sought. It should not be turned into yet another battlefield for cheap political mileage or exploited by any one party to topple the government of the day for entirely personal political motives, objectives, and expediencies.

Hence, I appeal to both sides of political divide to sign the Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA) for a more stable political environment and to ensure bipartisan approach to save lives and livelihoods during this critical period of the nation's survival.

By signing the CSA, it will allow the government to divert their resources and focus on managing this pandemic. It will also allow Opposition more participation in policy formulation and enhance their supervisory role in policy implementation.

4. In return for signing the Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA), all Opposition lawmakers should receive equal constituency allocation. All Rakyat regardless of their political choices should not be punished in any form and should have equal and quick access to the government benefits.

Improved coordination and data sharing between government agencies and Members of Parliament offices especially the Oppositions is needed for various aids distribution initiatives i.e. Program Bakul Makanan to avoid wastage, leaving out or delay.

Decentralization ought to be practised as each Member of Parliament office often has a better understanding of the situation of its constituency. This will allow the limited assistance to reach those who need it the most. In addition, this will also help free up the government’s overstretched manpower capacity for more critical frontline duties.

5. All movements with hidden agenda should halt immediately. The "Black Flag Campaign" or #benderahitam movement created recently has been exploited by certain parties to demand for the resignation of the Prime Minister. As I have mentioned above, remaining status quo is the best compromise solution for our country at least for now.

If the Prime Minister really steps down, it will leave us with only two choices. First, another "backdoor government" is formed based on who can obtain "strong, formidable, and convincing" support from the floor. Given the different political interests and ideologies of all political parties, this new coalition government will certainly face yet another round of political troubles and infighting. Another reason a new coalition will not last long is because unlike the old Barisan Nasional coalition, where the sheer size of UMNO made them the dominant party, there is no one party could claim the leadership position by default nowadays.

The second choice is another general election. The number of COVID-19 new cases, the emergence of new COVID-19 variants and given how the Sabah state election caused a spike in cases last year, this possibility is just a serious no no.

Besides that, I personally am not in favour of the demand for the abolition of the state of emergency because if it is used correctly and with care, it will certainly bring benefits to the Rakyat and country. Given how fluid the political situation is now, it must be used to push through important measures necessary to tackle the worsening pandemic i.e. the suspension of Sarawak state election and several by-elections. If those elections were held, I simply cannot imagine the case figures we would be looking at today.

Another instance is, with the declaration of emergency, an executive order can be given without the need of bureaucratic processes and decisions can be made on the spot i.e. private hospitals can now be ordered to take in COVID-19 cases.

However, I do agree that the state of emergency should not be abused and used for personal political survival. Hence, with the signing of Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA), the Opposition should have enough avenue to offer good oversight to its implementation.

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The regime change in May 2018 has disrupted the Malaysian political system and landscape that had continued for over six decades. I believe power realignment, consolidation, reestablishment, and its aftermath effect will go on for a while at least for now. To be fair, this is normal for any democratic country and we should to some extent be grateful that our country's very first transfer of power was rather peaceful. However, as I have mentioned repeatedly, now is just not the right time for these.

The Rakyat need great statesmen now more than ever who dare to do what is correct, not politically correct; who champion the rights of all; who condemn race-based policies and advocate needs or merit-based policies; who honour the promise and walk the talk; and who put national interest first before self-interest.

Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it; Right is right, even if no one is doing it.

The history will judge. Stop holding the Rakyat hostage by continuing the political drama. Rakyat are screaming for help and businesses are barely breathing for survival. If "politics by principles" has always been our advocacy, then it is about time to put it into practice.

"Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope."

Bangkitlah Rakyat Malaysia Sekalian! Ramai-Ramai Kita Suarakan Ketidakpuasaan Hati Dan Tandatangani Petisi Ini!

For A Better Malaysia!

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