Ikram: Strong two-party system will benefit Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: Saying that a two-party system will create a healthier and fairer political system, Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (Ikram) is working on strengthening its emergence in Malaysia.

Ikram president Dr Mohd Parid Sheikh Ahmad (pic) said a two-party system is beneficial for a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Malaysia.

“Both parties should comprise strong coalitions and be able to compete in a clean, healthy and fair manner,” Mohd Parid said during Ikram’s general assembly on Saturday night.

“Ikram’s leadership feels responsible [for creating] a change in the political scenario in Malaysia to create a healthier and fairer political environment,” he said.

This was why, Parid said, Ikram was determined to strengthen the democratic system in Malaysia by promoting the system that encouraged checks and balances.

“Abuse and monopoly of power by any party must be challenged, hence a two-party system, where each keeps an eye on the other,” he said.

Malaysia has seen a two-party system taking shape since 2008 when Pakatan Rakyat denied Barisan Nasional a two-thirds majority in the general election. DAP, PAS and PKR have combined successfully in consecutive general elections (2008 and 2013) by winning not only urban votes, but also in traditional Barisan Nasional strongholds.

In last year’s 13th general election, Pakatan won an unprecedented 52% of the popular vote.

However, the Pakatan ties were recently tested when the “Kajang move” was opposed by PAS leaders. It also caused a split in PAS because of differences of opinions between the main components in the Islamist party.

Matters were not helped by DAP leaders putting pressure on PAS, especially in light of a proposal to implement hudud in Kelantan. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 27, 2014.