Bersih report card singles out DAP’s Nga in criticism over parliamentary reforms

Thomas Fann (yellow shirt) with other Bersih members hold copies of the electoral watchdog’s report card on Pakatan Harapan.

PETALING JAYA: Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 today zeroed in on six promises by Pakatan Harapan on institutional and parliamentary reforms, with a message to deputy speaker Nga Kor Ming to stop “partisan politics”.

In its 30-page report card titled “Electoral, Political & Institutional Reforms”, Bersih listed what it said were “partially fulfilled promises”.

One such promise is that the speaker of the Dewan Rakyat should not be a political party member.

Bersih said while Speaker Mohamad Arif Yusoff fulfilled that requirement by quitting his party posts in Amanah, his deputies Nga and Rashid Hasnon have yet to follow suit.

“They continue to engage in partisan politics outside the Dewan Rakyat, especially Nga Kor Ming, who has been embroiled in a number of contentious exchanges with the
opposition,” the group said.

Nga Kor Ming.

Bersih said Nga “is quite a good and fair deputy speaker”.

“But outside he is a different person, extremely partisan and controversial in his remarks as well, and because of that I think it brings some disrepute to the house,” said Bersih chairman Thomas Fann.

The Bersih report card tracks 44 sub-promises touching on separation of powers, restoration of the dignity of Parliament, transparency in the election system, political financing and strengthening the role of local authorities.

Fann said Bersih would give the year-old PH government 7 out of 10 as far as institutional reforms are concerned, adding that its commitment to reforms is “commendable” considering it is the first of a five year term.

Fann praised the new election commission, a reform-minded Speaker, the electoral reform committee’s efforts and the downsizing of the Prime Minister’s Department.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Thomas Fann says PH’s progress thus far has been commendable.

Fann said the government kept its promise not to allow the prime minister to hold any other cabinet position, and the bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee to be chaired by an opposition MP.

Meanwhile, Bersih questioned the unequal airtime on state broadcaster Radio Televisyen Malaysia during by-elections, although it said media coverage has been less toxic and more balanced after the May 9 polls last year.

He said PH would still have to deliver its promises to grant the parliamentary opposition leader ministerial status.

The coalition has also yet to ensure transparent and equal funding for all MPs.

“Currently PH MPs get RM1.5 million but opposition MPs only get RM100,000.

“This is breaking a promise totally, I want to remind PH that opposition MPs are elected by Malaysians, why marginalise those constituencies and voters,” said Fann, who reminded the government that there are PH supporters in opposition-held constituencies.

Fann said every MP should get equal allocation.