(Honest politicians are rare species – Cartoon source: http://z.about.com)
The Prime Minister said:-
Bloggers have been urged to adopt a new code of ethics issued by US-based Society of Professional Journalists and published on an internet news portal.
Writing in his blog www.1malaysia.com.my, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said it was important for the truth to be told through responsible reporting and the new media played a significant role in this.
Since the politicians asked the bloggers to adhere by a code of ethics, I guess it is only FAIR that we, bloggers ask the politicians to adhere by a code of ethics as well.
There are many lists of codes in the internet, compounded by different people and non-profit institutes but this is one that makes sense for many politicians (from Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Rakyat, lonely independents and future and aspirant politicians) in Malaysia
From Canada based Mad River Institute for Political Science:-
1. No elected official will intentionally violate any laws, or any provisions of the constitution, nor will they promote others to do so. Upon conviction of any provincial or federal offence, the elected official shall resign from office, even before pending appeals.
2. No elected official will intentionally do harm to, or breech the confidentiality and anonymity, of any citizen or resident. Given the power of a politician to undermine reputations in parliament, legislature, or council, or interfere in an individual’s relationship with the government, elected officials must treat everyone with civility, honesty, equality, and respect at all times.
3. No elected official will intentionally delay or disrupt the proceedings of parliament, legislature, or council, outside the rules.
4. No elected official will intentionally mislead or offend the people. All statements made by an elected official must, at all times, be truthful. No elected official will falsely represent issues to the people. This includes making promises that the elected official knows cannot be kept, or making promises that seem unlikely to be kept.
5. No elected official will misrepresent their own abilities, education, training, standards of performance, certifications, or experiences to others. No elected official will claim to have political beliefs or affiliations they do not, nor will they disavow political beliefs or affiliations they hold.
6. No elected official will participate when in a conflict of interest. If a politician is found to be in an unintentional conflict, he or she must immediately act to end it or be considered to be knowingly in a conflict. A conflict must be ended immediately, even if it threatens the position or reputation of the elected official.
7. No elected official will, at any time, give anything less than their best effort to the people, and commit to see that government is run in the most efficient and effective way.
8. No candidate for elected office will campaign in a negative style that attacks opponents in a personal way, or propagates fear of an opponent. Campaigning should be limited to comparisons of partisan policy differences only.
9. Elected officials will commit to legally protect any person who publicly reports illegal and/or unethical actions by other officials, regardless of any ‘whistleblower’ legislation that may, or may not, be in effect.
If Najib can incorporate this easy code of ethics into his 1Malaysia concept and get his “people” to follow it religiously for the benefit of the country and people, it will give the Pakatan Rakyat a good run for their money.
But talk, as all of us know, is cheap and double standards are useless – if one party is asking another to abide by certain rules, it only makes sense if the same party is also adhering by same kind of ideal rules. Otherwise, please do not say things that are sounds nice in theory but hardly makes any dent in reality.