KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 – Malaysians need a government which is more liberal and open-minded and more conscious of the constitutional principles of good governance, the rule of law and human rights, says DAP veteran and Member of Parliament for Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang.
“For this reason, following on the reversal of the Registrar of Societies (ROS) decision in declaring UMNO’s decision to postpone its party election invalid, the new Prime Minister should allow the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) to be registered and operate,” Kit Siang said in a statement today.
The Registrar of Societies should not interfere with the fundamental right of Malaysians to freedom of association as provided by Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution.
The new Prime Minister should go one step further – to withdraw prosecution of all those who had protested against the government’s failure to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control.
The new government should also be mindful of Malaysia’s 18-rung drop on Reporters Without Border’s (RSF) annual press freedom index 2021– with Malaysia dropping the most out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index.
Ranked 119, Malaysia is sandwiched between the Republic of Congo and Nigeria Kit Siang said.
Malaysia’s best ranking was in 2020 (101 out of 180 countries ranked) while the worst ranking was in 2014 and 2015 (147).
“Malaysia’s press freedom situation improved dramatically after the 2018 elections, but things have gone in reverse since the Pakatan Harapan government was toppled…,” he said, calling on the new Prime Minister to end the more authoritarian rule in 2020 with prosecutions, police searches, expulsions (of journalists and a whistleblower) and flagrant violations of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources.