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  • Writer's pictureIlona Andrew

STRONG DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM, ANTI-HOPPING LAW AMONG WAYS TO HELP MALAYSIA MOVE FORWARD – SYED SADDIQ


Syed Saddiq speaks during the virtual launching of Dewan Muda Malaysia.

4 July 2021

By Ilona Andrew


KOTA KINABALU: President of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman divulged that Malaysia needs to have a strong democratic system and anti-hopping law, among others, in order to move forward.


While the personalities of politicians can to some extent help in nation-building, he said the best way for it is to have a strong political democracy system that will remain the same despite the interchange of political members.


Taking the judicial system in the United States of America (USA) as an example, he said such a system managed to refrain former President Donald Trump to do something that overlaps with the constitution.


“In Australia, about five years ago, the prime ministers changed three to four times within three years, but its democratic system is still strong, and the investments were not badly impacted despite that commotion.


“Israel could hold four general elections in two years’ time, but its investments are still doing well, and it is also one of the countries with the highest vaccination rate,” he said in his sharing during the virtual launching of Dewan Muda Rakyat yesterday which saw panellists from Undi18, Unicef Malaysia and Usaid, among others.


The Dewan Muda Malaysia is a leadership development and capacity-building training programme that works to educate youth representatives nationwide on the parliamentary system and policy analysis, as well as expose them to multiple issues in order to develop effective arguments through debates.

According to Syed Saddiq who is also the former minister of youth and sports, Anti-Hopping Law should also be introduced with a minimum of recall election system when a people’s representative decides to hop party and that the mandate should be given back to the voters of the rep.


If the rep decides to hop to another party for a principle reason, the voters will accept but not when it’s driven by money and power, he said. “The person will be punished by the voters,” he added.


“We also need to have a political funding act to prevent wealthy people to stay in power… These people will largely contribute to any political parties and whoever is in the government is obliged to fulfil their demands.


“Without political funding act, this will not change. The prime minister should also not be authorised on a discretionary budget of more than RM1-3 billion without any level of accountability and checks and balances.


“Our prime minister cannot appoint the high-ranked national leaders without parliament and the check and balance institute. Allocations should also be restored to all members of parliaments (MPs) and the prime minister cannot superintend the state’s allocations to the point that he could use it to threaten any state that does not go by his demand,” he explained.


The MP for Muar, Johor also opined that economic restructuring should take place considering the downfall of the economical state of the people mainly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.


He stated that more than 60,000 middle- and working-class people have plummeted to poverty during the pandemic.


According to a study by the Khazanah Research Institute, degree graduates recorded a decrease in monthly income where the majority of them earned between RM1,001 and RM1,500 in 2020 compared to RM2,001 and RM2,500.


Citing the study, Syed Saddiq stated the present-day 30-year-olds cannot afford bank loans or even service housing loans compared to the 30-year-olds from previous decades.


“What’s more complicated is that studies have shown the present-day young generation need up to three odd jobs to earn a decent living.


“In 10-15 years to come, the trend shows that the older generation will lose their savings. Due to this, the younger generation would need to help their older family members to bear the burden of the existing debts asides from supporting their livings,” he explained.


Syed Saddiq asserted that one of the solutions to that is to restructure the tax system in Malaysia which is the fair taxation model.


He said other taxation systems like the capital gains tax needs to be looked into and this applies to individuals who are involved in stocks investment.


Based on his experience in stock investment, he said he was never taxed a single cent although he managed to generate about RM9,000 to RM11,000 out of it in one day, while those who are working are bound to income taxes.

“Other than capital gain tax, inheritance tax should also be imposed. If a person has an inheritance of more than RM5-10 million, there should be a form of inheritance or wealth tax in place.


“I think this matter should be discussed transparently. But for us to be politically committed for this, we need to have the funding political act as well as break the same traditional power structures in Putrajaya and the way which we run our politics,” he stressed.


“We cannot simply have marginal changes in the Malaysian politics, there must be an overhaul and strong bipartisanship spirit. There should not be a winner-takes-all system and we must return the power to the people with the empowerment of national democratic institution.”


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