Full support for G25 stand and message

AS a former senior civil servant, a secretary-general, and thus like all members of the G25, I congratulate my former colleagues for their excellent letter, "Current reality in Malaysian Politics", published on April 16.

I believe that the patriotic sentiments expressed in the letter have the full support of most former and current civil servants, the armed forces, the police, other uniformed services and members of the public service, like teachers and all civil servants under the Cuepacs umbrella. The majority of the 1.6 million public servants, including the veterans called the Patriots, will fully support the message.

First, it appeals to all eligible voters to vote. This clarion call is pertinent, as we Malaysian citizens, have a great opportunity to exercise our sacred duty to vote wisely, instead of, as some plan to do – to irresponsibly waste or spoil their precious votes. Too many Malaysians just grumble and won't vote, but please do so and feel better.

G25 requests employers to liberally grant leave to their employees to vote. This is essential, as the Election Commission (EC) has made it somewhat difficult for voters by not having Election Day on a Saturday, to help the outstation voters to cast their votes. The business sector must also realise that it can only prosper if there is an able government with good governance. So please make sure that we all get the best government – that is honest, efficient and compassionate to all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion.

The letter urges the Election Commission to be free and fair in conducting the election. Already the EC has created some public doubts with its delineation exercise, alleged malapportionment of votes, the unfair choice of Wednesday for election day and not being able to reduce or erase some public concerns of possible malpractices on polling day.

As the G25 has well cautioned, the welcome presence of international and local observers will watch all the happenings at the polling stations and hopefully inside the EC itself.

So let's work hard for legitimate election results, to bring forth and to be able later to justify a legitimately elected government that we can all be proud of.

The G25 has mentioned the need, "to restore confidence in the future of the country as a stable and mature democracy". Hence, there are implicit doubts that have to be overcome by the rule of law and legitimacy. The question is: Will G14 be able to restore this confidence or not?

The letter pushes all political parties to avoid "exploiting the issues of race and religion".

Any candidate who stoops to use racial and religious sensitivities for his or her parochial political gain should be rejected by the voters. That will teach irresponsible politicians and candidates a good lesson and enable us to show that Malaysians are now much more mature. We all, and especially the youth, have a special role to do good in this matter.

The G25 calls upon MACC and the police to ensure that all candidates obey the law in their campaigns. This is vital, as any disrespect for the law can lead to lawlessness and even some instability, which can be serious for the social sustainability and unity in our beloved country.

As an honorary commissioner of the MACC, I would stress the need for the MACC to effectively combat and control money politics. This alone could corrupt the election process and distort and destroy the foundation of our electoral system. The MACC and police must be more determined to fight money politics, corruption or bad practices in the election.

This GE 14 provides the best historical opportunity that we have had so far, to strengthen the growth and development of a more meaningful "two-party electoral system", that is less race and religious based.

During the campaigning, there should be more debate and discussion on issues. We have to enable and ensure that the best candidates are elected.

We all hope and pray that we will all strive to fulfil the 'amanah' that God has blessed us all with, to do our duty to fully support the G25 stand and message to serve God, king, country and society to the best of our ability.

May the best candidates and political parties and promises prevail. God bless Malaysia.

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam
Centre for Public Policy Studies
Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute