Archbishop backs polls reforms before next GE

The government must ensure that electoral reforms be initiated and completed before the next general election, said Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam.

“As fellow Malaysians we share a common vision to see a better Malaysia. “We call on the government to ensure that the reform of the electoral processes take into consideration the views of all stakeholders.

“Given the importance of these reforms, this process should be initiated and completed before the next general elections,” said the Catholic archbishop in a statement yesterday.

Pakiam (left in photo), who is president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Malaysia, said it was “heartening” that the government was open to listening to and considering the proposals from various sectors of society on the issue.

“The call for such reforms was intended to ensure free and fair elections,” he said.

Last month, Prime Minister Najib Razak had proposed the setting up of a parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform, after intense pressure from civil society, in particular the coalition for free and fair elections Bersih 2.0.

However, the PM had drawn immediate fire after commenting that the next general election could be called “any time” without waiting for the PSC to complete its work.

Last week, the Election Commission (EC) also drew flak for saying that they may not accept or implement all the recommendations of the PSC.

Berish 2.0, that organised a massive rally on July 9 where an estimated 50,000 supporters nationwide marched through Kuala Lumpur demanding electoral reform, also blasted the PSC as being “pointless” if Najib were to call for the next GE before its recommendations are implemented.

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