MANIFESTO FOR THE 99% ( by Gabungan Kiri Malaysia )

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 Image result for MANIFESTO FOR THE  99%                   by Gabungan Kiri Malaysia

The neo-liberal capitalist model of development, the current preferred choice of both political Coalitions, offers little hope for real change。We hereby declare our commitment to a progressive alternative model that will address the fundamental issues of economic inequality, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental protection. We call upon the collective strength, solidarity and wisdom of all our peoples to bring about a thorough transformation of our beloved nation. 

 

 Image result for MANIFESTO FOR THE  99%                   by Gabungan Kiri Malaysia

 

 

(Amended Draft 25 October 2017)

       MANIFESTO FOR THE  99%

                 by Gabungan Kiri Malaysia

 

PREAMBLE

We, the people of this land of earthly beauty and ecological diversity, each with our different tongues and traditions, pledge to co-create a new society founded on the principles of freedom, equality and solidarity.

We will ensure equality of opportunity for all communities, first through institutional support that enables everyone to escape poverty and marginalization and secondly ensures that everyone can participate and contribute meaningfully. Such multicultural collaboration will no doubt enrich our society with the wisdom drawn from our diverse regional, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

We honour the long history of our people’s struggle against colonialism and against the sixty years of capitalism, corruption, tyranny, monoculture, patriarchy and divisions under Barisan Nasional rule. The neo-liberal capitalist model of development, the current preferred choice of both political Coalitions, offers little hope for real change.

We hereby declare our commitment to a progressive alternative model that will address the fundamental issues of economic inequality, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental protection. We call upon the collective strength, solidarity and wisdom of all our peoples to bring about a thorough transformation of our beloved nation. With the people’s support, we aspire to build a society that is truly just, democratic and progressive and that which will serve as a shining model for generations to come.

                                                                  

PROGRESSIVE POLICIES FOR MALAYSIA

  1. I.            People-centred and sustainable development;
  2. II.         Participatory democracy and human rights;
  3. III.       Equitable wealth redistribution;
  4. IV.        Inclusive society and culture

 

 

 

 

  1. I.            PEOPLE-CENTRED &  SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 

  1. 1.   A Progressive Economic Policy

1.1. Reclaim our public assets from privatization, halt any further privatization of public assets and democratize the GLCs;

1.2. Resist efforts by transnational corporate capitalism to undermine our national sovereignty through Free Trade Agreements;

1.3. Regulate financial transactions and speculation to ensure they do not endanger our national economy;

1.4. Nationalise public utilities such as water and energy;

1.5. Invest Petronas’ oil profits, taxes of oil and gas companies and licence payments in a Sovereign Wealth Fund as a pension fund for the future generations;

1.6. Strengthen public sector health, education, housing and transport services including highways;

1.7. Implement a master plan for all federal and state land to ensure judicious use for the public purpose, any minimal sale to the private sector must be at appropriate prices;

1.8. Apportion more revenue from oil and gas resources to the oil and gas-producing states and ensure PETRONAS’ oil and gas production and investment records are transparent and accountable to parliament and the public;

1.9. A just system of managing the wealth of society in an economy where technology increases and the wider implementation of automation and robotics can lead to under-employment and unemployment, with options including a shortened working week, and/or a system of guaranteed basic income.

1.10. Provide institutional support for the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises [SMEs] through strong regulations to protect SMEs from unfair dealings with or malpractice by large corporations and public bodies

1.11 Reform the SME banks and other financing mechanism to ensure that it spur greater productivity and that workers are paid the minimum wages.

 

 

 

  1. 2.   Sustainable Development & Environmental Protection

2.1. Gazette all permanent forest and wildlife reserves;

2.2. Ensure all local people are consulted before any development and that laws requiring EIA studies are commissioned by the government and not by the developer;

2.3. Protect the rights of farmers and fisherfolk and create a national food security policy with a push for food agriculture instead of commodities such as palm oil;

2.4. Recognize and distribute land fairly to all genuine farmers;

2.5.Promote renewable energy projects that do not destroy forests or Orang Asal land, impose strict energy and water conservation measures including incentives for energy efficiency and other forms of demand management;

2.6. No nuclear power or other toxic industries;

2.7. Enforce recycling measures, responsible and efficient waste disposal;

2.8. Enact laws to prevent cruelty to animals and actively promote animal welfare;

 

  1. 3.   Sustainable Infrastructure and Regional Development Plan

3.1         Decentralize development away from Klang Valley by creating regional centres across the country while capitalizing on the specific strengths of each region, nurturing sustainable and thriving rural economies and cultural life to halt the brain drain in small towns and villages;

3.2         Green public transport systems for all major cities in Malaysia to transform urban centres as pedestrian-friendly and livable cities;

3.3         Prepare the labour market for the impending automation in the manufacturing and services industries through skill-upgrading programmes and migration to other high-tech industries;

3.4         Institutional and financial support for the high-tech green industry, including manufacturing of trains, solar panels, electric cars and buses;

3.5         Implement a policy of sustainable farming, moving away from environmentally destructive industrial farming and chemical fertilizers;

3.6         Regulate the telecommunications industry by breaking up the monopolies and invest in telecommunications infrastructure to bring more connectivity and speed for internet up to the level of advanced industrial countries

3.7         Build a modern rail network spanning Sabah and Sarawak;

 

 

  1. II.         PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY & HUMAN RIGHTS

 

  1. 4.   Real Democracy

4.1. Limit the office of the Prime Minister, Menteri Besar and Chief Minister to two terms in office;

4.2. Elect representatives to the Dewan Negara (Senate) through proportional representation;

4.3. Require all elected representatives and senior civil servants to publicly declare their assets and incomes as well as those of their immediate families;

4.4. Elected officials can be recalled from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended when sufficient voters sign a petition;

4.5. Re-introduce elected local governments as well as ensure all villages and associations hold democratic elections with measures such rotation of the top posts and asset declarations of the top office bearers instituted;

4.6. Decentralise social services such as education, housing, transport and even community policing, to be managed by elected local councils.

4.7. Ensure free & fair elections by strengthening the autonomy and impartiality of the Election Commission with power of prosecution for election offences and to assume the role of caretaker government during the general election period;

4.8. Institute public financing of political parties with an allocation based on the proportion of votes cast by voters for each party on a third ballot paper that lists all the parties registered in the country at each general elections, while limiting individual, corporate and foreign donations to political parties and candidates;

4.9. Ensure there is freedom of assembly and association;

4.10. Promote participatory democracy through community participation in national and local budgets as well as decision-making system in the local councils;

4.11. Institute judicial freedom without political influence by devolving the appointment of judges to an independent commission comprising judges, Bar Council representatives and NGO representatives in order to ensure the independence of the Judiciary;

4.12. Establish an Expert Group to study the proposal on “Non-Constituency Seats” to provide greater representation to women and minority groups at State Legislatures.

 

  1. 5.   Defend Human Rights & Rule of Law

5.1. Repeal all laws that allow arbitrary declaration of emergency; torture, capital punishment, detention-without-trial and incommunicado detention including NSC, SOSMA, POTA, POCA;

5.2. Abolish the death penalty in Malaysia, impose an immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition and commute the sentences of all persons currently on death row;

5.3. Ratify the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights; the Convention against Torture and the Convention on Refugees;

5.4. Implement the Independent Police Complaints & Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and other recommendations of the Royal Police Commission to ensure transparency and accountability by the police and other enforcement agencies such as the MACC;

5.5.Establish a Law Reform Commission to restore the independence of the judiciary; review the Federal Constitution and all laws that are unjust and violate human rights, and resolve the conflict of jurisdiction between civil and syariah laws;

5.6. Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to solve once and for all the problem of citizenship for Malaysians who were born here or have lived here for more than 10 years; permanent residence for foreign spouses of Malaysians, as well as the problem of undocumented migrants in the country;

5.7. Ensure SUHAKAM commissioners are truly independent and its annual report debated in Parliament;

5.8. Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to review the Malaysia Agreement 1963 in order to restore the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Malaya.

                                                                                           

  1. 6.   Uphold Freedom of Expression and Information

6.1. Enact a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act at federal and state levels which is reflective of the peoples’ right to know, with the public interest as the overriding principle;

6.2. No monopoly of ownership and control of the press and broadcasting stations by political parties or corporate bodies;

6.3. The national broadcasting authority to be independent and non-partisan, answerable to Parliament and not to the Ministry of Information;

6.4.    Promote diversity of media outlets and encourage citizens’ journalism by setting up a publicly funded and open broadcasting platform for independent broadcasters in radio and TV;

6.5. A comprehensive review of the provisions in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 that curtail freedom of expression.

 

  1. 7.   Equal Rights For All Regardless of Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Religion & Sexuality

7.1. Uplift the livelihood of the lower income groups based on need, sector or income levels through a Social Inclusion Act and sector-specific policies;

7.2. Institutionalize means testing for any access to scholarships or other entitlements;

7.3. Implement merit-based recruitment in civil & armed services;

7.4. Legislate an Equality Act with an Equality & Human Rights Commission and ratification of International Convention on Eradication of Racial Discrimination;

7.5. Legislate a Racial & Religious Tolerance Act to outlaw racism and hate speeches;

7.6. Social justice and the dignity for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) just as for heterosexuals’ rights;

 

  1. 8.   Zero Tolerance for Corruption, Nepotism & Abuse of Power by Political Elite

8.1. Set up a truly independent Anti-Corruption Commission answerable to parliament with the power to recommend prosecutions for all offences of corrupt practice;

8.2. The Public Accounts Committee in Parliament to be chaired by an Opposition Member of Parliament;

8.3. Eliminate opportunities for corruption such as proscribing the “revolving door” opportunities between the civil/armed services and the private sector when the heads of these institutions are rewarded richly after retirement if they do what their political masters want them to do while they are the AG, IGP, MACC Pengarah or Chief Judge. 

8.4.Ensure the government ministry/department head accounts for every discrepancy in the annual Auditor-General’s report and pays for any negligence or corruption involved;

8.5. All privatised projects to be openly tendered;

8.6. All wakil rakyat to declare assets and not be involved in government projects or corporations;

 

  1. III.       EQUITABLE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION 

 

  1. 9.   Equitable Wealth Redistribution

9.1.Curb growing income inequality by imposing a higher marginal tax rate on high income earners, an incremental Capital Gains Tax on property, other progressive taxes on wealth and luxury goods;

9.2. Review and monitor tax laws to ensure there are no tax loopholes;

9.3. Review capital allowances and tax holidays for foreign firms;

9.4. Regulate and impose a tax on all international financial transactions and hedge funds;

9.5. Abolish regressive taxes such as GST;

 

10. Defend Workers’ Rights & Interests

10.1. Respect workers’ rights and solidarity by reviewing labour laws to ensure they are compatible with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention;

10.2. Encourage and promote the right of all workers to unionise;

10.3. Legislate a progressive guaranteed living wage for all workers, including foreign workers;

10.4. Give workers’ rights to association, full employment, retrenchment and pension fund;

10.5. Abolish the contractor system for employment of workers;

10.6 Review and realign the Employment Act 1955 to protect workers’ rights in the twenty-first century which includes the regulations of jobs in the new gig economy.

10.7. Workers and their trade unions to be part of economic influence and decision-making of enterprises, especially control of their pension funds;

10.8. Promote self-governing workers’ cooperatives to produce goods that are useful for society and reform the regulations to spur the growth of cooperatives;

10.9. Protect the rights of self-employed workers and introduce regulations to ensure freelancing workers in temporary jobs are not exploited;

10.10. Accord full rights as workers to all migrant workers: Importing of migrant workers to be handled through Government to Government basis and not privatized to crony companies operating on a commercial basis; migrant workers to have easy access to alternative work in the event their employer sacks them because of a labour dispute; ratify the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees;

10.11. Asylum seekers and Refugees to be given work permits so that they can work legally and turn to labour authorities should any employer attempt to bully or exploit them.

 

 

  1. IV.        INCLUSIVE SOCIETY & CULTURE

 

11.Uphold Women’s Human Rights and Dignity

11.1. Increase women’s representation in all decision-making bodies of government, the judiciary and political parties in order to encourage greater participation by women in public life;

11.2. Incorporate the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its provisions into national law guaranteeing equality for all in both public and private spheres of life;

11.3. Review and amend all laws and constitutional provisions that discriminate on the basis of gender including the acquisition of citizenship status of non-citizen spouses;

11.4. Equal pay for women holding similar posts as men;

11.5. Provide for the housing, education and child-care needs of single parent households so that the inter-generational transmission of poverty is minimized;

11.6. Strengthen the law on sexual assault and harassment, including training for enforcement agencies, cyber bullying and stalking;

 

12. A Far-Sighted and Fair Education Policy

12.1.       Promote quality holistic education, equal opportunities, creativity as well as scientific and technological knowledge required for research & development;

12.2.       Ensure that education in the public sector is secular and free of political and religious interference;

12.3.       Enrolment into publicly-owned tertiary educational institutions will be based on a matrix of academic achievement, cultural as well as economic background;

12.4.       To ensure that no students will be discriminated from getting a place in publicly-owned tertiary institutions, investment in building and expanding public universities will be vastly increased

12.5.       Besides building national schools using BM, mother tongue schools for the various ethnic groups to be built in education precincts sharing facilities to promote integration, ensuring proportionate financial support and training adequate teachers for these schools;

12.6.       Free primary, secondary and tertiary education for all;

12.7.       Academic freedom for universities, free from interference from the Government;

12.8.       Integrate art, music and theatre into primary and secondary school syllabuses;

12.9.       Create a national education system for apprenticeships and vocational training that is geared towards the future creative and green economy;

12.10.     Eliminate “elite schools” and end discriminatory funding policies - all national schools to be equally funded with incentives for good teachers to move to underperforming and rural schools;

12.11.     All national schools, not just selected premier schools, to have sports and arts facilities to encourage athletic and cultural excellence;

12.12.     Higher investment and social incentives for teachers’ salary and job satisfaction, to transform the profession into one of the most well-respected and desirable career paths for talented young people.

 

 

13.An Improved Public Health Care System

13.1.       All are entitled to free healthcare in the public sector;

13.2.       Allocate at least 4% of the GDP in the annual budget to healthcare;

13.3.       Implement better conditions, pay and career development for doctors, nurses and hospital workers in the public sector by creating a separate Service Commission for Public Sector Health Care workers;

13.4.       Freeze the expansion of private hospitals and prevent the leakages in the public sector to private contractors;

13.5.       Provide homes and day-care centres for the elderly and disabled through benefits, support services, including access to mobile health care;

13.6.       Higher investment in mental health facilities across the country;

13.7.       Build new hospitals across the country to solve hospital overcrowding;

13.8.       Increase funding for medical and public health research to solve major health problems in the country.

 

 

14.A People-Centred and Caring Social Policy

14.1.Institute a Housing Development Board, managed by elected local councils to implement an effective low-cost public housing programme for rental or ownership throughout the country for the poor and marginalized communities, with adequate space for community activities, recreation and green areas;

14.2.Modernise the New Villages by giving land titles, improving infrastructure and government assistance for the small and medium enterprises and respect the rights of urban settlers in any development plan to upgrade their area or to re-house them;

14.3. Prioritize the public transport system in the country while regulating highway construction and car traffic in city and town centres;

14.4. Provide child-care and crèche facilities in all public and private sectors;

14.5. Decriminalize the consumption of drugs so that all those who are addicted (suffering from substance abuse and) are no longer subjected to arrest and detention but instead are cared for in rehabilitation facilities;

14.6. Work towards Universal Old Age Pension in order to enhance the wellbeing and dignity of our elderly citizens by starting in a modest way with all individuals aged above 70, who are not recipients of Government or Socso Pension, being paid RM 300 per month.

14.7. Set up a Commission to plan the creation a comprehensive social welfare system, which includes unemployment benefits, support for child-rearing; physical and mental disabilities.

 

 

 

15.Support Orang Asal Rights, Customary Lands, Culture & Religion

15.1.       Prohibit logging in Orang Asal land;

15.2.       Ensure all Orang Asal villages have adequate facilities and services including schools and clinics that respond to their needs and vision;

15.3.       Ensure Orang Asal participation and their free, prior and informed consent in all policy making involving their interests;

15.4.       Introduce policies and laws that comply with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), especially their right to customary land;

15.5.       Create a Commission for indigenous people’s self-rule and autonomy in customary lands;

15.6. Repatriate all lands taken away from the Orang Asal

 

 

16.A Vibrant and Diverse Cultural Policy

16.1. Preserve heritage in all its forms as a record of human experience so as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to inspire genuine dialogue among cultures;

16.2. Involve artists and cultural activists in the planning of both formal and informal education;

16.3. Encourage youth participation in cultural institutions with specific intercultural goals;

16.4. Create a new inclusive, diverse and progressive National Cultural Policy through the involvement of communities, academics and cultural figures from various political inclinations, cultures and languages;

16.5. Create more public parks in cities and ban exclusive private neighbourhoods that encroach onto our commons in the countryside and beaches;

 

17.Reduce crime and increase public safety

17.1. The police force should focus on its core mission of crime prevention;

17.2. Ensure the police force responds in an effective way to all reported crimes such as pickpockets, house break-ins, etc in order to strengthen public confidence in safety of their communities;

17.3. Set up a Special Multi-Ethnic Peace-Keeping Force to be deployed rapidly to any conflict involving ethnic communities;

17.4. Ensure the highest standards of professionalism in the police force;

17.5. We call for community involvement in crime prevention.

 

18. Defence Cuts and a Culture of Peace

18.1.  Review our national defence policy to promote a culture of peace and disarmament by reaffirming the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement and promoting cooperation between third world countries;

18.2.  Cut the defence budget to below 1% of GDP and apportion a correspondingly higher budget for health, education and social services;

18.3.  Set up a Parliamentary Defence Committee chaired by an Opposition MP as well as an independent Ombudsman to oversee the defence budget;

18.4 Revamp RELA – Restrict powers of arrest and detention, and the right to bear firearms only to professionally trained law enforcement officers;

 

 

 

19.Funding The Manifesto

19.1 We are committed to upholding the cardinal principles of integrity, accountability, transparency and stewardship in managing the finances of the Nation. We believe with prudent revenue and expenditure management the promises in this Manifesto can be delivered.

19.2 New sources of revenue will be from progressive taxation on top 1% high income earners, capital gains and financial transaction taxes and through regulatory measures to deal with tax evasion and avoidance. Through transparent and prudent expenditure management we expect a savings of between 20 to 30 percent of the current national budget of RM262 billion.

 

19.3 We will ensure that the quantity and quality of public goods and services that benefit the 99% are not compromised by cuts in expenditure and/or decreases in revenues.

                                                                           

 

CONCLUSION

 

The ideas in this Manifesto are not immutable. They are being put down on paper to provide a basis to promote the discussion on these issues that are vital for our future. While we do believe that many of our suggestions are realistic solutions to the problems facing our society, we are fully aware that we do not have all the answers and are open to ideas, suggestions, modifications and improvements. We need a vibrant debate to build the consensus necessary to chart an alternative course for our nation. We hope you will join us in this effort to create a more humane and harmonious Malaysia that is premised on the solidarity among our people and with nature.  

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