Wednesday, 6 March 2013

REFORM MALAYSIA - Malaysian Civil Society 13GE Demands

Malaysian Civil Society 13GE Demands

6 Mar 2013

"We, the NGOs of varied sectors of Malaysian civil society wish to present these concrete demands to the political parties and independent candidates contending in the 13th general election for their endorsement. We believe that these demands are reflective of the aspirations of the various sections of the Malaysian peoples and are based on the current state of the Malaysian political, economic, social and cultural society. We also believe that if Malaysia is to have a sustainable and bright future, these demands represent a new agenda for change and the substance of reform. This reform is long overdue and it is the basis for a fair, just, equal and democratic country that respects human rights and the recipe for true reconciliation.

The demands are concrete so that political parties and candidates will have to stand by their endorsements if they have been elected. The candidates who support these demands will gain our full support in the forthcoming elections. We will be monitoring the political parties and candidates to ensure that they stand by their commitment to these demands after the elections."

1.Eradicate Institutional Racism
1.1.Abolish the "New Economic Policy" - corrective action in all economic and education policies must be based on need or sector or class and not on race with priority given to indigenous people, marginalised and poor communities;
1.2.Repeal amendment (8A) of Article 153 that was passed during the state of emergency in 1971 and was not in the original 1957 federal constitution;
1.3.Institutionalize means testing for any access to scholarships or other entitlements;
1.4.Implement merit-based recruitment in civil & armed services;
1.5.Enact an Equality Act to promote equality and non-discrimination irrespective of race, creed, religion, gender or disability with provision for an Equality & Human Rights Commission;
1.6.Institutionalise equality and human rights education at all decision-making levels, including state and non-state actors/ institutions;
1.7.Ratify the Convention on the Eradication of Racial Discrimination (CERD);
2.A Society based on Human Rights & Rule of Law
2.1.Repeal all laws that allow torture, whipping, detention-without-trial and incommunicado detention;
2.2.Abolish the death penalty in Malaysia, impose an immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition and commute the sentences of all persons currently on death row;
2.3.Ratify the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights; the Convention against Torture and the Convention on Refugees;
2.4.Implement the Independent Police Complaints Committee (IPCMC) and other recommendations of the Royal Police Commission to ensure transparency and accountability by the police and other enforcement agencies such as the MACC;
2.5.Establish a law reform commission to restore the independence of the judiciary; review the Federal Constitution and all laws that are unjust and violate human rights, and resolve the conflict of jurisdiction between civil and syariah laws;
2.6.Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to solve once and for all the problem of citizenship for Malaysians who were born here or have lived here for more than 10 years; permanent residence for foreign spouses of Malaysians, as well as the problem of undocumented migrants in the country;
2.7.Ensure social justice and guarantee the dignity of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) just as for heterosexuals' rights;
3.Root out corruption effectively
3.1.Set up an Independent Anti-Corruption Commission answerable to parliament with the power to recommend prosecutions for all offences of corrupt practice;
3.2.The Public Accounts Committee in Parliament should be chaired by an Opposition Member of Parliament;
3.3.Eliminate opportunities for corruption such as proscribing the "revolving door" opportunities between the civil/armed services and the private sector;
3.4.Ensure the government ministry/department head accounts for every discrepancy in the annual Auditor-general's report and pays for any negligence or corruption involved;
3.5.All privatised projects must be openly tendered;
3.6.Carry out effective anti-corruption campaigns in the media, schools and public areas throughout the nation;
4.Free and Fair Elections
4.1.Clean up the electoral rolls and ensure that migrants have not been illegally enfranchised;
4.2.Use indelible ink to prevent multiple voting;
4.3.Reform postal voting to ensure transparency and to enfranchise Malaysian citizens abroad;
4.4.Minimum of 21 days for electoral campaigning;
4.5.Free and fair access to the media for all parties;
4.6.Strengthen public institutions involved in the electoral process, including the judiciary, the Election Commission, police, MACC and broadcasting media to ensure their independence and professionalism;
4.7.Curb corruption and vote buying by compulsory auditing of all election expenses, campaign financing; full disclosure of sources of financing and expenditure, and setting a limit on campaign expenditure;
4.8.End dirty politics and unethical practices such as religious or communal appeal, false statements, defamatory or personal attacks, wilful distortions, unproven allegations, racist, racial or other forms of intolerant statements against women, minorities and marginalized groups;
4.9.Invite international election observers as a norm in general elections for greater credibility;
4.10.Fair representation in delineation of parliamentary constituencies – discrepancy in the number of voters in different constituencies should not exceed 15% as existed at the time of Independence;
4.11.Automatic voting eligibility from the age of 18 using identity card;
5.Accountable & Representative Democracy
5.1.Limit the office of the Prime Minister, Menteri Besar and Chief Minister to two terms in office;
5.2.Elect representatives to the Dewan Negara (Senate);
5.3.Require all elected representatives and senior civil servants to publicly declare their assets and incomes as well as those of their wives' and children's;
5.4.Broadcast live of all proceedings in parliament;
5.5.Re-introduce elected local governments;
5.6.Decentralise social services such as education, housing, transport and even community policing, to be managed by elected local councils.
6.Uphold Freedom of Expression and Information
6.1.Abolish the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses & Publications Act, the Official Secrets Act and the Film Censorship Act to ensure freedom of expression and information;
6.2.Enact a Freedom of Information (FoI) Act at federal and state levels which is reflective of the peoples' right to know, with the public interest as the overriding principle;
6.3.Take appropriate action to prevent monopoly of ownership and control of the press and broadcasting stations by political parties or corporate bodies;
6.4.Transform the national broadcasting authority into one that is independent and non-partisan, answerable to Parliament and not to the Ministry of Information.
7.Uphold the freedoms of assembly & association
7.1.Repeal the Police Act, the Societies Act, the Universities & University Colleges Act and other relevant laws which restrict these fundamental freedoms;
7.2.Repeal the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011;
7.3.Grant students of voting age the full freedoms enjoyed by other Malaysian citizens;
8.Defend Workers' Rights
8.1.Respect workers' rights and solidarity, including those of informal workers such as domestic workers by reviewing labour laws to ensure they are compatible with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention;
8.2.Encourage and promote the right of workers to unionise;
8.3.Legislate a progressive guaranteed minimum wage for all workers, including foreign workers;
8.4.Abolish the Contractor for Labour System, and restore direct two-party employment relationship between principal/owners of workplaces and the workers that work therein;
8.5.Ensure all workers are employed as regular permanent employees and enjoy all benefits including maternity rights and extended retirement age;
8.6.Extend equality and non-discrimination to all workers in the private sector;
8.7.Workers and their trade unions must be part of economic influence and decision-making, especially control of their pension funds;
8.8.Company stock ownership and profits should be diverted into employee share funds to enable workers to have a controlling stake in these companies;
8.9.Elected workers' representatives should be equally represented in the management and to decide corporate decisions, including investments, technology, wages and prices;
9.Migrant Workers' and Refugees' Rights
9.1.Accord full rights as workers to all migrant workers irrespective of their immigration status, guarantee their contracts are for the duration agreed to when they come to Malaysia, usually five years and end year by year contracts for migrants;
9.2.All migrant workers should be given full access to avenues of justice and there shall be no deportation until all pending claims and cases, including at labour tribunals, criminal and civil courts have been fully heard, disposed of and finally settled;
9.3.Migrant workers should have the right to hold their passports and relevant visas and accorded the right to be heard before their visas are cancelled and/or refused renewal;
9.4.Migrant workers should not be arbitrarily deported or their visas cancelled based on justifications such as their having contracted certain diseases, medical conditions and/or they have become pregnant;
9.5.Enact an Asylum Seeker Refugee Law to ensure proper procedures and safeguards are in place for dealing with asylum seekers/refugees in Malaysia, which should also include the right to judicial review;
9.6.Ratify the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees;
10.Uphold Women's Human Rights and Dignity
10.1.Implement at least 30% quota for women's representation in all decision-making bodies of government, the judiciary and political parties in order to encourage greater participation by women in public life;
10.2.Incorporate the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its provisions into national law guaranteeing equality for all in both public and private spheres of life;
10.3.Review and amend all laws and constitutional provisions that discriminate on the basis of gender;
10.4.Confront sexism and prejudice based on gender stereotypes;
10.5.Equal pay for women holding similar posts as men;
10.6.Establish appropriate measures, including legal protection for the rights of women on an equal basis with men and ensuring through competent national tribunals and other public institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination;
11.Protect the Rights of the Indigenous peoples
11.1.Protect the right of the Orang Asal to self-determination, including the right to own, control and use their traditional lands, territories and resources on their own terms;
11.2.Protect the right of the Orang Asal to sustainable development, access to basic needs and advancement of their traditions and languages;
11.3.Follow through on Malaysia's endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by introducing policies and instituting legislation that comply with its tenets;
11.4.Enact or amend state laws that recognise and protect the native customary rights of the Orang Asal to their traditional lands and territories.
12.A Far-Sighted and Fair Education Policy
12.1.Reform the national education system to promote quality holistic education, equal opportunities, social justice, creativity, critical thinking as well as scientific and technological knowledge required for research & development and vocational skills;
12.2.Abolish discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, age, gender or creed relating to entry into educational institutions;
12.3.Uphold the spirit of the Education Ordinance 1957 by supporting mother tongue education, building Chinese and Tamil schools in areas where they are needed, ensuring proportionate financial support and training of adequate teachers for these schools;
12.4.Recognise the Unified Examination Certificate and provide financial support for the non-profit mother tongue secondary schools so that the students can enjoy free education as in other secondary schools;
12.5.Promote the preservation and development of the indigenous peoples' mother tongue language and education.
13.A Progressive Economic Policy
13.1.Nationalise all utilities and essential services including water resources, health, public transport, energy, ensuring they are owned and controlled by the Malaysian peoples at federal, state and local levels;
13.2.Implement a master plan for all federal and state land to ensure judicious use for the public purpose and/or their sale to the private sector at appropriate prices;
13.3.Rights to concessions and other licences must be paid for at economic prices;
13.4.Promote self-governing workers' cooperatives to produce goods that are useful for society;
13.5.Ensure open tendering for all privatized contracts;
13.6.Stop subsidies to big business which invest in environmentally unfriendly enterprises and are energy guzzlers;
13.7.Promote a sustainable agricultural policy to ensure self-sufficiency in rice and basic food items and to cut down on food imports;
13.8.Provide fair and adequate support to all sectors and distribute land justly to all farmers in need of land, irrespective of ethnicity;
13.9.Modernise the New Villages by giving land titles, improving infrastructure and government assistance for the small and medium enterprises;
13.10.Rights to natural resources such as oil and gas belong to the oil-producing states and thus proportionately more revenue from these resources (60%) should accrue to these states; at the same time, Petronas' oil and gas production and investments must be transparent and accountable to parliament and the public.
14.A progressive fiscal policy to reduce income inequality and fund public services
14.1.Impose a higher marginal tax rate on high income earners and a correspondingly lower tax rate for lower income earners;
14.2.An incremental Capital Gains Tax on property;
14.3.A progressive inheritance tax;
14.4.Implement regular review and monitoring of the tax laws and implementation to ensure there are no tax loopholes;
14.5.Review capital allowances and tax holidays for foreign firms;
14.6.Regulate and impose a tax on all international financial transactions and hedge funds;
14.7.No Goods and Services Tax;
14.8.A progressive tax on all luxury goods.
15.Protect animals and the Malaysian environment
15.1.Re-gazette all previously gazetted forests and wildlife reserves that have been de-gazetted since Independence;
15.2.Prevent degazettement of forests without public hearing and clear notice;
15.3.Impose strict energy and water conservation measures including incentives for energy efficiency and other forms of demand management;
15.4.Ban all toxic industries which affect the health of residents and ensure full consultation with people affected by development projects;
15.5.Give incentives for development of solar energy and other sustainable energy sources;
15.6.Enforce recycling measures in all local authorities;
15.7.Enact laws to prevent cruelty to animals and actively promote animal welfare.
16.An Improved Public Health Care System
16.1.Ensure universal healthcare for all - all persons in Malaysia should be entitled to free healthcare in the public sector;
16.2.Allocate at least 10% of the GDP in the annual budget to healthcare;
16.3.Implement better conditions for doctors, nurses and hospital workers in the public sector;
16.4.Provide homes and day-care centres for the elderly and disabled through benefits, support services, including access to mobile health care;
17.A People-Centred Social Policy
17.1.Institute a Housing Development Board, managed by elected local councils to implement an effective low-cost public housing programme throughout the country for the poor and marginalized communities with adequate space for community activities, recreation and green areas;
17.2.Respect the rights of urban settlers in any development plan to upgrade their area or to re-house them;
17.3.Improve the public transport system in the country while regulating highway construction and car traffic in city and town centres;
18.A Vibrant and Diverse Cultural Policy
18.1.Preserve heritage in all its forms as a record of human experience and aspirations so as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to inspire genuine dialogue among cultures;
18.2.Artists and arts experts should become more involved in the planning of both formal and informal education;
18.3.Cultural institutions should develop youth provision policies and programmes with specific intercultural goals;
18.4.Funds for young minority artists and arts institutions should be made available through specially targeted programmes;
19.Reduce crime and increase public safety
19.1.Redeploy more police personnel on the streets to reduce crime instead of using them to crack down on peaceful assemblies and snooping on civil society;
19.2.Set up a Special Multi-Ethnic Peace-Keeping Force to be deployed rapidly to any conflict involving ethnic communities;
19.3.Curb corruption and ensure the highest standards of professionalism in the police force in bringing drug dealers and drug gangs to justice;
19.4.Involve the community in policing and the criminal justice system;
20.Defence Cuts and a Culture of Peace
20.1.Review our national defence policy to promote a culture of peace and disarmament;
20.2.Promote ASEAN cooperation in order to pool resources and slash arms spending in all ASEAN countries;
20.3.Cut the defence budget to below 1% of GDP and apportion a correspondingly higher budget for health, education and social services;
20.4.Set up a Parliamentary Defence Committee chaired by an Opposition MP as well as an independent Ombudsman to oversee the defence budget;
20.5.Abolish RELA - powers of arrest and detention, and the right to bear firearms must be restricted to professionally trained law enforcement officers.

Endorsee List For Malaysian Civil Society GE13 Demands (Last updated: 6 March 2013, 2.30PM) :

1. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
2. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
3. Center for Orang Asli Concerns
4. Civil Right Committee, Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC KLSCAH)
5. Community Action Network (CAN)
6. Community Development Center (CDC)
7. Foreign Spouses Support Group
8. Gindol Initiative for Civil Society Borneo
9. Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia
10. Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM)
11. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
12. Jawatankuasa Kerja Sahabat Rakyat Johor (Sahabat Rakyat Johore Working Committee)
13. Lawyers For Liberty (LFL)
14. LLG Cultural Development Centre
15. Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
16. Malaysian Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
17. Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
18. National Indian Rights Action Team (NIAT)
19. People’s Green Coalition
20. Peoples Service Organization (PSO)
21. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
22. Persatuan Masyarakat Wilayah Persekutuan & Selangor (PERMAS)
23. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
24. Projek Dialog and Islamic Renaissance Front
25. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
26. Rainbow Genders Society (RGS)
27. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
28. Sisters In Islam (SIS)
29. Solidarity for Civil Rights in China (SCRC)
30. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
31. Tenaganita
32. UK-based Borneo Rights International (BRI)
33. Women’s Centre for Change (WCC)
34. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)


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通告 Notification

人民之友 对我国第14届大选意见书
(华 巫 英)3种语文已先后贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在今年9月24日对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的“意见书”,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!

这篇意见书的英文译稿(标题是:Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!)已于10月22日张贴在本部落格。马来文译稿(标题是:Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!)也已接着在11月13日在此贴出。



Pandangan Sahabat Rakyat terhadap PRU14 telah diterbitkan dalam tiga bahasa (Melayu, Cina dan Inggeris)

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa! " (投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!)dalam Bahasa Cina pada 24hb September 2017.

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut yang bertajuk Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”! telah diterbitkan dalam blog kita pada 22hb Oktober 2017 manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu telah diterbitkan pada 13hb November 2017.

Selain daripada itu, Sahabat Rakyat juga akan menyebarkan kenyataan ini seluas mungkin kepada pertubuhan dan individu semua bangsa, strata, profesyen dan agama seluruh Negara melalui email, wechat, whatsApp dan pelbagai saluran lain. Kami amat mengalu-alukan pertubuhan dan individu yang berpendirian dan pandangan sama dengan kami untuk turut menyebarkan kenyataan ini kepada lebih ramai orang!

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun amalan masa depan.

The Chinese, English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about GE14 have been published consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, on 24 September 2017, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!” (投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!)

The English rendition of this statement entitled "Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!" and the Malay rendition entitled "Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!" had been released on 22 October and 13 November respectively.

Apart from that, Sahabat Rakyat will also make every effort to disseminate this statement as widely as possible to organizations and individuals of all ethnic groups, religions and all walks of life throughout the country via email, WeChat, WhatsApp and other channels. We welcome organizations and individuals with the same position and views to spread this statement to more people!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the upcoming General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicity and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the 14th General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)