pH Litmus Tracker: A Summary Report on Pakatan Harapan’s Institutional and Political Reforms

pH Litmus Tracker
Summary Report: Pakatan Harapan’s Institutional and Political Reforms

Introduction

Come May 9th, 2019, it would be one year since the Pakatan Harapan coalition won the 14th general elections and formed a government. The historic election win witnessed the fall of the Barisan Nasional government – a government that had ruled the country for 61 years with impunity since independence in 1957. Decades of Barisan Nasional rule had resulted in
immense corruption and abuse of power.

The Pakatan Harapan coalition was unequivocal in its commitment to upholding the good governance agenda for Malaysia which is key to stamping out the country’s structural corruption and abuse of power. This commitment was inked on its election manifesto in particular Promise 14. Promise 14 states that it would, among others, strengthen anti-corruption
efforts.

Having won the elections on the ticket of good governance, the Pakatan Harapan government proceeded to crystallize this particular agenda in two notable national policies – the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (Mid-Term Review) and the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP).

The Mid-Term Review was launched in October 2018. Pillar 1 of the Mid-Term Review includes reforms in the area of governance. It aims at ensuring greater transparency and efficiency of the public service as one of the government’s new priorities and emphases for 2018-2020.

The first of its kind, the NACP was launched in January this year and formulated in line with the spirit of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to which Malaysia is a State party. This policy aims at achieving Malaysia’s vision of being a corrupt-free nation
by the year 2023.

In moving its reform agenda forward, the new government proceeded to announce a number of decisions that sought to address issues once buried by the previous Barisan Nasional administration, around structural corruption and abuse of power. Some of the decisions are:

1) The setting of up the Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the allegations of misconduct by judges and interference in court judgments;
2) The setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the existence of human trafficking camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian;
3) The reopening of the Teoh Beng Hock case;
4) The reopening of the Scorpene corruption scandal, and the trial of Altantuya Shaaribu.

While we acknowledge that the decisions made in relation to these cases are critical to ensure justice is served, we are however rather disappointed with the pace of the proposed reforms. It has almost been a year since the Pakatan Harapan coalition won the 14th general elections but delays, U-turns and inaction in realizing these reforms appear commonplace. The government had failed to formulate and provide a clear and concrete roadmap for the implementation of the proposed reforms which is necessary to ensure that it is moving in the right direction.

Download the full report here: pH Litmus Tracker Summary Report 1

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