Joint Statement by Opposition Parties

Joint Statement by Opposition Parties

WE, the following Opposition Political Parties in Malaysia, having met in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 24th July 1990, to discuss the proposal for a Commonwealth Observer Mission for the coming general elections in Malaysia

RESOLVE to endorse and accept in principle the invitation of a Commonwealth Observer Mission for the coming general elections;

DECLARE that for the Commonwealth Observer Mission to play a meaningful role with credibility and legitimacy, it should comply with the following principles and guidelines:

1. that the Mission members should come from countries with internationally-recognised parliamentary democracy with multi-party systems in their respective Parliaments;

2. that the Mission members should comprise personalities of impeccable standing and background with regard to their experience in election-watching as well as their commitment to the promotion of parliamentary democracy;

3. that the terms of reference of the Commonwealth Observer Mission are broad and wide enough to ensure that the general elections is free, fair, clean and honest;

4. that the Mission should not just confine itself to the tasks and duties of the Election Commission and the voting process on polling day, but the entire election campaign, such as freedom of speech and assembly available to competing political parties and candidates, including matters like public rallies; free and fair treatment by the media, whether radio, television or newspapers; and campaign funding and expenditures;

5. that the Mission should also monitor any abuses of government funds and facilities by any political party or candidates during the general elections;

6. that the Mission should have fullest freedom of movement and access, including contacts with political parties, organisations or individuals concerned about the general elections meeting the four criteria of being free, fair, clean and honest;

7. that the Mission be allowed to decide on its modus operandi to fulfil its terms of reference;

8. that the government would not put any restriction, limitation or constraint in the way of the Mission, but pledges full co-operation and support for its activities;

9. that the Mission should be in the country two or three weeks before the election campaign;

10. that the Mission should prepare and make public a report on the conduct of the general elections in Malaysia.

NOTE WITH CONCERN that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, seems to be backtracking from his commitment announced in Parliament on June 21, 1990 to invite the Commonwealth Observer Mission;

CALL on Dr. Mahathir not to renege on his commitment to invite the Commonwealth Observer Mission to prove that he has nothing to hide from international or local scrutiny of the general elections campaign and process, especially as this is in line with the Kuala Lumpur CHOGM Communique of October 1989;

EMPHASISE that the Observer Mission should not be confined only to the Commonwealth, but extended to countries and organisations internationally and locally recognised for their commitment to and concern for democracy and human rights; AND

RESOLVE to form an All-Party Action Committee to ensure a free, fair, clean and honest general elections.

Signed by: 1. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
President, Semangat 46

2. Dr. Sanusi Daing Marioh
Vice President, PAS

3. Lim Kit Siang
Secretary-General, DAP

4. M.G. Pandithan
President, AIMPF

5. Dato Sudin Wahab
President, HAMIM

6. Dr. Syed Husin Ali
President, PRM

7. Dato Wan Hashim
President, BERJASA

8. Yeoh Poh San
Secretary-General, MSP

DATED: 24th July 1990