By Kua Kia Soong
The Pakatan manifesto for GE14 promises many things and the most welcome ones are the calls to repeal draconian laws, make several commissions directly answerable to Parliament and cut the PMO fat, which is long overdue.
Beyond these critically needed reforms, the manifesto is long on populist concepts but short on actionable specifics.
The current water crisis in Selangor is yet another reminder of the dire consequences of such cavalier populist policies as Selangor’s free water policy. Is providing cheaper cars the answer to our traffic problems or purely populist?
The manifesto proposal to “resolve (the) issue of unilateral child conversion in a harmonious manner” is no doubt well-intentioned but wishful thinking in the current toxic climate without spelling out the clear constitutional and juridical positions on this issue.
Fundamentally, the manifesto lacks three vital changes sorely needed to take our country into a new beginning after sixty years of BN rule, namely: a race-free agenda to unify the nation; a progressive tax structure to redistribute wealth and a truly democratic society.
I won't touch on tax reforms as it's beyond my knowledge other than the worldwide used GST stumps the old non-transparent SST, evaded by the non-accountable, which Pakatan bizarrely wants to revert back to, just for the sake of being different to (opposing everything that is) BN and NOT for the nation's sake.
That's the terrible toxic nature of PH's refusal to recognise some issues (like GST) deserve bipartisan support.
Dr Kua also enunciated that: Term limits for the PM, CM & MB are welcome and overdue. We are told that it will not be applied retrospectively to Selangor and Penang, the states that PH already rule. Why not? The democratic principle behind the term limit for these posts is simply that elected officials can over time obtain too much power or authority and thus makes them less representative of all the citizens. It is also to prevent chances of corruption.
On this issue, I am quite surprised that Dr Kua has not mentioned the BIGGEST elephant in the room, that of Mahathir becoming PM again, and after how many terms already as PM? So how dare Pakatan make such a deceitful promise?
term limits for PM? What utter bullshit
As for its national agenda, Dr Kua asked, now with Pakatan having embraced the leader of Parti Pribumi as the prospective PM, there is no mention of an end to the NEP in their GE14 manifesto.
Dr Kua must be joking when Mahathir and his Pribumi are among the two greatest racist parties in Malaysia, namely Pribumi itself and its Mothership UMNO. The NEP might have been started by Razak but the man who ran it for 22 years to benefit his flock was Mahathir.
And he is the ultimate über Melayu. Once I had written that those 'Melayu' of mixed heritage would be the most über of the lot as they would strive to 'prove' their Melayu-ness, people like RTA.
Dr Kua pointed out quite succinctly the hypocrisy of PH attempting to suck up to the “Malay Agenda” by proposing puzzling proposals such as “restoring State Sultans’ powers” when it had been its leader, Mahathir who took them away in the first place.
Mind, at that time Mahathir wasn't wrong in doing so (though his agenda exceeds ours the public) but it's sheer hypocrisy when PH now propose to restore those powers. What hypocritical audacity.
Coupled with its lie about GST and the wanton profligacy of going easy in a tidakapa attitude towards re-payment of the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN), PH promises are populist and not beneficial to the nation or its people, other than those who have no intention to re-pay their loans from PTPTN.
And I haven't even mention the youth wing of Pakatan Harapan (PH) pledg[ing] ... that it will broadcast all international sport matches including the English Premier League on state-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) should it win the 14th general elections (GE14).
Use your grandfather's money?
DAP should avoid such company.