The Sun - Appoint Cabinet members based on merits, not party quota: Cenbet
Sunday, May 13, 2018
PETALING JAYA: The Centre For A Better Tomorrow (CenBet) has congratulated the new Pakatan Harapan government, led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on taking office.

"As an advocacy group for moderation and good governance, we hope the new administration will keep to its electoral pledges of nipping extremism and graft in the bud.

"In recent years, moderation and good governance had taken a backseat, resulting in pent-up public anger that led to the previous federal government being voted out on May 9. We believe that moderation and good governance are the twin foundations upon which this country is built, and chipping away at these values threatens to undermine this country," it said in a statement.

CenBet said the filling up of Cabinet positions and other key posts is one of the first things incoming governments do.

"It is imperative that the new administration makes appointments based on merits, not political considerations, such as party quota. Merits-based appointments are part of good governance which we advocate.

"Those appointed need to be honest, trustworthy, beyond reproach and have an impeccable track-record. Whether as ministers, senior bureaucrats or heads of GLCs, these people are holders of public trust and should not treat the appointments as a vehicle for personal interests. This is to ensure professionalism in public service and GLCs," read the statement.

CenBet said the government also needs to not just follow through on its "First 100 Days" pledge of reviewing any suspicious and questionable decisions from the previous administration.

It also has to put in place a stringent system with strong oversight to ensure minimal leakages on matters like government procurement.

"The new government needs to live up to public expectations of a clean and efficient administration. In this respect, having an independent MACC answerable to Parliament will help."

As for moderation, Cenbet said the new administration needs to display zero-tolerance on any attempts to stoke divisive racial and religious sentiments for political motives.

"For far too long, agent provocateurs had been creating rifts in our society with impunity. The government should immediately rein in, and if necessary throw the book at any individuals or groups out to unravel the fabric of this plural society, even if they are part of the ruling coalition," it added.

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