Economists applauded Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto as a thoughtful review of the problems affecting the Malaysian economy despite doubts about a few of its more populist measures.
Critics said among its shortcomings was the lack of a broader vision to unite all Malaysians.
Generally, they said that if it was implemented, the manifesto would be a boon to the Malaysian economy and iron out some bottlenecks such as the wealth gaps and leakages that have recently choked what was once South-East Asia’s most dynamic economy.
PR: Manifesto evolving, not set in stone
PETALING JAYA (Feb 27, 2013): The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said its newly minted manifesto is a “dynamic” document that continues to evolve, and is not set in stone.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua said the coalition is still holding talks with several organisations to fine-tune its offer to the people.
Speaking at a press conference at the PKR headquarters today, he refuted criticisms that some quarters have been neglected by the manifesto, saying it is “inclusive”.
The manifesto, launched on Monday, was criticised by groups, especially those aligned to Barisan Nasional (BN).
Several NGOs, such as those representing disabled and Indian pressure groups, also voiced their disappointment.
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Pakatan Rakyat has challenged BN to a public debate on the viability of the former’s election manifesto.
The coalition said that its policies will save RM49.5 billion, which will be used to finance many expensive plans outlined in the election pledge.
They said that the savings will come from curbing corruption, prudent spending and increasing government revenue by spurring economic development.
Three Pakatan Rakyat leaders who are tasked with debating BN are PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli, PAS central committee member Dzulkefly Ahmad and DAP international secretary Liew Chin Tong.
“We defend that the country would not go bankrupt following the policies which will be implemented by Pakatan should it win Putrajaya, and challenge any BN leaders to a debate.
“We even challenge Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to debate against Anwar Ibrahim on this,” they said in a press conference today.
PKR will form the biggest opposition party if the BN remains in federal power after the next general election, said DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua.
He was rebutting a political analyst’s opinion that the DAP would take pole position in Pakatan Rakyat.
Pua pointed out that the DAP will only contest 40-50 parliamentary seats.
Without revealing the number of seats that PKR is to contest, he said it will still be the biggest opposition party.
|3:08PM Feb 27, 2013|
Hindraf has expressed “extreme disappointment” in Pakatan Rakyat’s recently-launched manifesto, saying that it has neglected the interests of the Indian Malaysian community.
“Our disappointment is deep and distressing – caused not so much by what it says but by what it does not say.
“Pakatan Rakyat has chosen to completely ignore the needs and interests of the Indian community in the country in its election pledges and in that one stroke has said so many things,” said the group’s chairperson P Waythamoorthy in a press statement today.
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has previously rebutted similar complaints about the manifesto by saying that its promises transcend racial boundaries.
However, Waythamoorthy pointed out that the manifesto makes promises specific to the Malays, Chinese Malaysians, Orang Asli communities, armed forces veterans, and Felda settlers.
“The provisions there do not seem to transcend racial groups and subgroups.
Read about Hindraf’s demands: HINDRAF
|1:27PM Feb 26, 2013|
BN leaders flood the mainstream media with their comments and views attempting to belittle the slew of Pakatan’s pledges as empty promises and election candies.
The arguments from BN leaders are as follow:
1. Abolition of highway toll would burden the government with a high debt.
2. Reduction of fuel price is not rational as the government has spent billions of subsidy, making Malaysia’s fuel price the lowest in South-East Asia.
3. Free public tertiary education would bankrupt the nation.
4. Minimum wage of RM1,100 would have a negative impact on the economy as the employers were already having a tough time adjusting their salaries to the current rate of RM900.
5. To implement all promises was nigh impossible as it would require significant financial resources.
|2:55PM Feb 26, 2013|
Pakatan Rakyat has drawn up many bold and far-reaching promises in its manifesto, which has the potential of transforming Malaysia at its very core.
However, the document – dubbed as ‘The People’s Pact, The People’s Hope’ manifesto – does contain some glaring omissions, which made it inconsistent with the coalition’s policies.
A list of five key issues, chosen by Malaysiakini, follows:
1. Goods and services tax
2. The Indian and disabled communities
3. Local government elections
4. Freedom of information
5. Asset declarations
Pakatan Rakyat has admitted that it has “overlooked” the matter of including Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang as states that must receive full oil royalty from Petronas, in the printed version of their election manifesto.
In their manifesto launched yesterday, only Sabah and Sarawak are mentioned as the states that will get an increase in royalty, from five percent currently to 20 percent.
“That is an error, it should read oil-producing states, not only Sabah and Sarawak,” admitted PAS central working committee member Dzulkefly Ahmad, who sits on the Pakatan committee which had drafted the document.
“When it was printed, it did not come out (as it should have). This is regrettable. We were only informed yesterday (after the convention).”
He explained that Pakatan has corrected the copy in their online version and for future use.
Anwar Ibrahim said the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto transcends racial groups as well as various subgroups including the Indian community, which is not neglected.
Giving the examples of schools, the PKR de facto leader said all Chinese and Tamil schools as well as missionary schools would be assisted.
“It is not directed at a particular community. This is an assurance that every citizen – Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Dayak – is accorded the respect and given the attention.
Disabled rights activists have been left feeling “insulted” by the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto launched yesterday, given that the coalition has failed to pick up on their interests or include plans to develop their potential.
“I think politicians don’t see disabled rights as a big issue. Why are we sidelined? We feel insulted. In truth, I think they only care about political mileage, their only paradigm is money,” said Mohd Rosli Ibrahim, chairperson of disabled rights pressure group OKU Bangkit.
Saying that the disabled community has faithfully supported Pakatan to date, he lamented that its interests have been ignored in the campaign election document.
Pakatan Rakyat unveiled its election manifesto titled ‘Manifesto Rakyat: Pakatan Harapan Rakyat’ (The People’s Manifesto: Pakatan the hope of the people) today to capture the attention of 13 million voters, pledging to reduce their financial burden, among other promises.
In tabling the manifesto at a Pakatan convention today, PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said the coalition intends to eliminate monopolies and to raise household income to RM4,000 compared with RM2,500 at present.
Rafizi said the taxes would also be distributed evenly, as at present the tax that those with an income of RM10,000 a month and above pay was similar to that paid by tycoons like Ananda Krishnan.
|5:40PM Feb 25, 2013|
Pakatan Rakyat has headed off BN by announcing the coalition’s election pledges first for the 13th general election today.
The document, dubbed ‘The People’s Pact, The People’s Hope’, appears to expand on the three parties’ common policies outlined in their Buku Jingga document.
Pakatan’s manifesto is available in six languages and can be downloaded from the coalition’s official website.
A list of top 10 issues raised, as chosen by Malaysiakini, follows:
1. Shutting down the Lynas plant
2. Abolishing the AES
3. Putting the brakes on healthcare tax
4. Promoting media freedom
5. Freeing all ISA detainees
6. Affordable housing
8. Free education, abolishing PTPTN
9. Lowering fuel, electricity and water charges
10. Reducing foreign workers by one million
Free Malaysia Today
Goodies for Sabah, S’wak in Pakatan manifesto
The opposition coalition also announced two second level national oil companies will be set up in Sabah and Sarawak.
SHAH ALAM: Pakatan Rakyat today unveiled its election manifesto, giving more “goodies” to the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
The manifesto was launched at the fourth Pakatan convention here.
DAP vice-chairman M Kulasegaran told the nearly 1,000 participants at the Shah Alam Convention Centre that Barisan Nasional had neglected the East Malaysians for far too long.
“Therefore, if elected to federal power, we will set up two second level national oil companies in Sabah and Sarawak. These companies will serve to safeguard the interest of our East Malaysian brothers and provide employment to them,” he said.
Poser over PM pick as Pakatan launches manifesto
By Clara Chooi
Assistant News Editor
February 25, 2013
Initially thought to be sewn up, the choice of Anwar for the PM’s post now appears to be increasingly uncertain. — File pic
SHAH ALAM, Feb 25 ― A big question mark continues to hang over Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) final choice for the prime minister’s post, despite repeated claims by top leaders at the pact’s election manifesto launch today that PKR, PAS and DAP are united in their choice for the job.
When approached on the topic of the prime minister’s post, not a single leader offered a concrete answer on whether the PR leadership has settled on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ― or any other candidate ― for the position.
PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu was the least evasive on the issue, even admitting to internal strife within his party over the possibility that Anwar will be made PR’s prime minister.
“It’s normal,” he said, when it was pointed out that despite PR’s claim of unity, its parties have yet to reach consensus on who should be appointed to the most important executive role in the country.
“Many views… it’s not a big problem. It’s just like how we select our (party) division chiefs. Insya’Allah, this is not a big issue,” he said.
Free Malaysia Today
‘Pakatan’s grand promises misleading’
Kedah Gerakan youth chief observes that several promises in the manifesto were similar to those made during 2008 general election but which were never fulfilled in Pakatan states.
GEORGE TOWN: Pakatan Rakyat’s general election manifesto shows the sheer hypocrisy of the coalition planning to form the next federal government, rebuked a Gerakan youth here today.
Party Kedah youth chief Tan Keng Liang blasted Pakatan of not being honest and sincere, and misleading the people by making grand promises in its latest manifesto.
“We hope Pakatan would review its manifesto so as not to mislead Malaysians in the coming election,” he said in a statement.