There is a whole-page advert in the New Straits Times today on “Conversation with the PM” with the invitation: “Do you have any questions on current issues for the Prime Minister” and the announcement:
“Please email your questions to q&[email protected] by March 8, 2013. Dato’ Sri Najib Razak will appear ‘live’ on a special TV programme to be broadcast soon, where he will answer some of your questions ahead of the 13th General Election”.
I have three top questions for Najib on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the 12th Parliament on March 8, 2013, which witnessed the “308 political tsunami” of the 12th General Elections, viz:
Question 1: Caretaker government. Does Najib accept the concept and the conventions of a caretaker government limited to day-to-day administration of government on expiry of Parliament’s tenure, most notably between the dissolution of Parliament and the formation of a new government after a general elections?
This question is particularly pertinent in the case of Najib, who is going down in Malaysian history as the longest unelected Prime Minister on probation without a mandate of his own from the electorate – for nearly four full years!
Is Najib prepared to respect and abide by the Caretaker Government Conventions and best practices in other functioning parliamentary democracies, including:
- No major policy decisions by the Caretaker Government except on urgent matters and then only after formal consultation with the Opposition.
- No Significant appointments of major public officials, except in an acting or for short-term durations.
- No major contracts or undertakings during the caretaker period. If it is not possible to defer the commitment until after the caretaker period, for legal, commercial or other reasons, there would be consultation with the Opposition to ensure that contracts include clauses providing for termination in the event of an incoming government not wishing to proceed. Similar provisions cover tendering.
- No international negotiations and visits.
- No public service involvement in election activities with the public service adopting a neutral stance while continuing to advise the Government.
In view of the double facts that Najib is the longest unelected Prime Minister on probation who had not dared to seek a mandate of his own from the electorate and the fifth anniversary of the 12th General Election on March 8, 2008, public and political morality demand that Najib should regard himself as a Caretaker Prime Minister and his Cabinet as Caretaker Cabinet from tomorrow on March 8, and they should not make any major or substantive decisions whether concerning policy, appointments, contractual obligations or abuse and misuse of the public service, whether personnel, resources and public funds without consultation with the Opposition.
Let Najib state publicly – whether he is prepared to accept the concept and conventions of a Caretaker Government when the 12th Parliament is officially dissolved; and additionally, whether he is also prepared to accept the dictates of political morality that morally, he is a mere Caretaker Prime Minister with effect from March 8, 2013 – fifth anniversary of the 308 “political tsunami”?
Question No. 2 – Election Integrity Pact. Does Najib accept that the Transparency International-Malaysia’s Election Integrity Pledge which he signed on February 20 had not advanced the cause and principles of integrity, ethical conduct, accountability, transparency and good governance with regard to the 13th General Elections but achieved the very opposite?
Wherever I went in talks and ceramahs, when I asked whether I should sign the TI-M Election Integrity Pledge after the Prime Minister had signed it, the answer is a thunderous “No! No! No!”.
When I asked for a show of hands whether they want me to sign the TI-M Election Integrity Pledge as had been signed by the Prime Minister, there was an unanimous show of hands against signing as demonstrated by the thousand-strong crowds whether at the DAP UBAH Dream Truck ceramah in Petaling Jaya on Monday or at Taman Sentosa in Johore Baru on Tuesday night.
On the opinion poll on my facebook whether I should sign the National Integrity Pledge, only four percent or five out of 116 respondents are in favour of my signing, while 96% are against my signing the pledge or at least want the Election Integrity Pledge to contain five conditions, viz:
- Public declaration of assets by all elected Ministers;
- No money politics;
- No “May 13” threats or politics of fear or hatred to intimidate voters;
Free, fair and clean elections; and
- Pledge to accept the verdict of the voters of the 13th GE and to facilitate a peaceful transition of power in Putrajaya.
Question No. 3 – Failures of Transformation policies. Will Najib concede that all his major “transformation” policy initiatives and policies in the past four years have been dismal failures, whether:
- 1Malaysia policy where he could not even get endorsement by his Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, or by the Cabinet, the UMNO Supreme Council or the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council;
- “People First, Performance Now” slogan, highlighted by the 26-day intrusion of a rag-tag group of armed Sulu militants, causing the lives of eight police commandos which should not have happened if those in charge of protecting the national sovereignty and the security of the people of Sabah and security forces personnel had been given a free hand to professionally and competently perform their duties; and
- NKRA programmes particularly to combat corruption, reduce crime and raise quality of education.