Loss of confidence in PM not a crime

Loss of confidence in PM not a crime – Jacqueline Ann Surin

How many of you have lost confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership? I know I have. And because I no longer have confidence the prime minister will do what’s best for the country, I am supporting Bersih 4’s call for Najib to step down.

Let’s be clear. The loss of confidence in Najib’s leadership and Bersih 4’s demand for him to quit isn’t the making of political saboteurs – federal opposition, foreign, Christian or Jew. They are the direct results of the prime minister’s own actions. They stem from what Najib has done, as both prime minister and finance minister, over the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal and the eventual admission that RM2.6 billion was indeed deposited into his personal account.

It is Najib who continues to defy public demands to clarify where the RM2.6 billion came from and what he used it for. And it is Najib who continues to openly resist and thwart citizens’ right to know about how 1MDB racked up huge debts, and how he could have imperilled tax payers’ money by having the government guarantee those debts.

So, yes, many of us have lost confidence in the prime minister. And it really shouldn’t come as a shock that we have. What is instead shocking is this. For all Najib has done to undermine the people’s right to know and to insist that he doesn’t need to be accountable, Najib’s party, his Cabinet and Parliament have yet to conclusively demonstrate that they have lost confidence in him.

It is because of this public loss of confidence in Najib and the lack of action on the part of the Cabinet and Parliament – two entities I believe are entrusted to uphold parliamentary democracy – that I will be attending Bersih 4.

What is Bersih 4 all about?

Essentially Bersih 4, for me, is about saying to the prime minister, “Sir, we have lost confidence in your leadership because of all the things you have done to undermine our trust in you.”

Do we have a right to do this? Of course we do. Democracies are all about people having the right to decide who should represent them in government.

Democracies are also about citizens having a right to determine who can access and use our tax money to govern the nation.

And yet, the police have already begun threatening Bersih 4 that the rally and its demands will be seen as criminal if it turns “seditious” and is an attempt to illegally topple the government. It might not be too long before Bersih 4 is also accused of undermining “parliamentary democracy”.

What do you think? It is a crime to let the prime minister know what kind of leadership we want for this country? Is it seditious to organise people to come together peacefully to demand for fair elections, more checks and balances on executive power, greater accountability, and an honest government?

Is it a threat to parliamentary democracy if people express a lost of trust in a prime minister who seems hell bent on acting in self-interest rather than the nation’s interest?

Peacefully expressing a loss in confidence in the prime minister isn’t a crime.

And it cannot be equated to illegally toppling the government. It’s in fact part of democratic practise that citizens should be able to express their opinion openly and peacefully about the kind of leadership they would like for the nation.

Loss of confidence in PM not a crime – Jacqueline Ann Surin
14 August 2015 – TMI


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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
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