An Open Letter from SUARAM to the New Prime Minister of Malaysia
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) congratulates and thanks the Rakyat of Malaysia for the peaceful and participative 15th General Elections (GE15) and change of government last week. The kind understanding, respect for democracy, solidarity, and patience of the Rakyat during these trying times are a symbol of our unity and multicultural harmony.
Additionally, SUARAM congratulates all the elected representatives chosen by the Rakyat and the coalitions who have set aside their differences to collaborate and serve the nation under the leadership of the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Haji Anwar bin Ibrahim.
We hope the Reformasi struggle of nearly a quarter of century will be realised by the unity government without any delays, excuses and U-turns as seen previously, for the benefit of all citizens of our beloved country.
SUARAM and civil society has been following and supporting this struggle from the ground since the days of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the miscarriages of justice that were experienced by many members of the government today. We hope the promises made to build a better, safer, and more equitable Malaysia will be fulfilled starting with the following:
1. Abolishment of draconian laws that enable punishment without going through judicial processes i.e., Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA) and Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA).
2. Replace the IPCC with the IPCMC in its original form, improve police accountability and establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry on torture and deaths in custody.
3. Under the umbrella of freedom of expression, repeal the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA), amend, and limit the use of the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA), repeal section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPP).
4. Identifies, recognizes, and legitimise the key role of human rights defenders as individuals or groups who act to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms through peaceful means.
It is high time that Malaysia steps out of the dark ages and into the era of matured politics, people-centric approach, and good governance. A formidable majority in parliament is a mandate to be utilised for the good of the people, not an excuse to silence critics.
Remember, the Rakyat are the boss, and we are watching your every move!