Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

Power From Performance, Not From Money

After nearly seventy years it seems time to abandon money politics and to put development and public interest before private gain. In that respect the first decades after independence tell a sorry tale.. It is, one supposes, almost inevitable that after a long period of, foreign rule, with its curious dislike of bribery and corruption, new freedom should have been seen as a free for all with pubic funds, and political reputations built less on performance and more on liberality with public money

The present PN administration appear to think that bribery and personal enrichment are the only route to governance and we see the unedifying daily spectacle of elected representatives switching allegiance in return for bribes. And not just bribes, which are criminal, but bribes funded from taxpayers pockets. Almost exclusively as other normal sources of revenue, such as government bonds. loans etc have been put out of possibility by the criminal behaviour of leading politicians such as Najib Razak.

There is a lot of talk at present about a new general election, made possible by the clause in the Constitution which allows the Agong to call one whenever he thinks fit. Whether this clause, a few simple lines, was inserted by British inadvertence or deliberate intent will now be difficult to ascertain. but its effect is to give the Malaysian Monarch powers for demanding which cost British King Charles the First his head.

In democratic Britain,the former colonial power, it is the Prime Minister who, as the head of the governing majority, has the sole power to require a dissolution of Parliament and the subsequent general election and, in practice, he in turn needs the assent of the majority party to do so.

That ought to be the position in Malaysia if it wishes to continue to be a parliamentary democracy as opposed to a doubtful plutocracy as at present, and the next government should give priority attention to remedying this dictatorial lacuna in the fundamental law.

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