NEP’s ‘apparent success’ made Malays realise money was ‘ladder’ to political power.
Former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam today proposed the formation of a group to reform Malaysia’s governance and tackle its many interconnected issues, given power by the assent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and an accompanying special Act passed in Parliament.
During his keynote speech for the “International Conference on Political Party Finance Reform in Southeast Asia”, Musa said that the group should last for not more than two years and not include any partisan politicians and should be a “truly representative” group.
“In such times as we are going through right now like on leadership uncertainties, general elections, realignments of political groupings taking place there is no better time than this,” he said at the conference that was conducted on the Zoom video-conferencing platform.
Now is the right time for non-partisan individuals and groups to unite and contribute towards real national service, he said at the conference that was conducted on the Zoom video-conferencing platform.
“All of us have been looking into the same issues, and each has his or her own explanation on their angle in approaching the various subjects.
“But, if all of us can get organised in a non-partisan way, with focus and full dedication, it can be done,” he said, adding that governance issues in Malaysia are well-known.
Musa said with a possible general election looming, leadership uncertainties and political grouping realignments, there is no better time for non-partisans to get together and contribute.
Musa said his idea is based on the May 13 incident, and the two-year lifespan of the group is to give it ample time to cover and deal with the multifaceted issues in the country.
He said politicians in the 60s – back when political funding was not an issue – were more enthusiastic.
“Money was never an issue. The spirit of sacrifice and enthusiasm were there based on the spirit of gotong-royong.”
However, he said, after the National Economic Policy (NEP) was implemented, the Malays realised money is a tool to climb up the political ladder.
“NEP and its apparent success made Malays enter the modern world and realise that money is the political ladder to climb to achieve power in government.
“When I was elected MP, I realised soon enough that money was much needed, donations here and there, events here and there. An MP is without question the presumptive provider of funds.”
The Heroik: Series of International Conference on Political Party Finance Reform Agenda is organised by Bersih 2.0, Ideas and Perludem – an Indonesia-based organisation.