On Wish-list For The New Pakatan Harapan Government On Moderation and Good Governance
Saturday, May 12, 2018
The Centre For  Better Tomorrow wishes to congratulate the new Federal Government, led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for taking office. As an advocacy group for moderation and good governance, we hope the new administration will keep to its electoral pledges of nipping extremism and graft in the bud. 

In recent years, moderation and good governance had taken a backseat, resulting in pent-up public anger that led to the previous Federal government being voted out on May 9. We believe that moderation and good governance are the twin foundations upon which this country is built, and chipping away at these values threatens to undermine this country.

The filling up of Cabinet and other key posts is one of the first things any incoming governments do.It is imperative that the new administration makes appointments based on merits, not political considerations, such as party quota. Merits-based appointments are part of good governance which we advocate. 

Those appointed need to be honest, trustworthy, beyond reproach and have an impeccable track-record. Whether as Ministers, senior bureaucrats or heads of GLCs, these people are holders of public trust and should not treat the appointments as a vehicle for personal interests. This is to ensure professionalism in public service and GLCs.

The government also needs to not just follow through on its "First 100 Days" pledge of reviewing any suspicious and questionable decisions from the previous administration. It has also to put in place a stringent system with strong oversight to ensure minimal leakages on matters like government procurement. The new government needs to live up to public expectations of a clean and efficient administration.  In this respect, having an independent MACC answerable to Parliament will help. 

As for moderation, the new administration needs to display zero-tolerance on any attempts to stoke divisive racial and religious sentiments for political motives. For far too long, agent provocateurs had been creating rifts in our society with impunity. The government should immediately rein in, and if necessary throw the book at any individuals or groups out to unravel the fabric of this plural society, even if they are part of the ruling coalition.

We are hopeful that the new government will keep to its pledge of accountability, good governance and moderation. CENBET will hold the new administration to its words and is wiling to support the government on this. Failure to do so will result in the new administration suffering from the same fate as its predecessor.

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