Think tank hails historic democratic change in government

IDEAS says the GE14 results mark the first democratic change of power in Malaysia’s history. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) today welcomed the victory of Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the general election, calling it the first democratic change in government in the nation’s history.

“This is an important milestone for our country and one in which we can all be proud,” it added.

IDEAS said since its establishment eight years ago, it had championed the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals.

“We have argued consistently for a more open democracy in Malaysia and greater transparency of our public institutions. While we have never been partisan or sided with one politician or another, we welcome the fact that today represents the first democratic change of power in Malaysia’s history,” it said in a statement.

IDEAS also said it looked forward to working with the new government, adding: “We agree with PH’s proposals to improve governance and strengthen Malaysia’s public institutions, and we are encouraged by PH’s plan for its first 100 days in government which represents a responsible approach to managing the Malaysian economy.”

IDEAS said it also wanted to build a “productive relationship” with the new opposition which, it said, would play an important role in Malaysian democracy.

“We hope that today can mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Malaysia’s history, building on what has come before.”

The think tank said it would continue to work with Malaysian society to “contribute honest, impartial research and propose solutions to our shared challenges as we work together towards a Malaysia that upholds the principles of liberty and justice”.