Prof Terence Gomez
Pakatan Harapan is repeating the history of the BN government and heading in the same direction, Universiti Malaya professor of political economy Terence Gomez warned today.
According to him, this was because it was emulating policies similar to those when Malaysia was being governed by BN.
Gomez told a forum in Kuala Lumpur today that Harapan had backtracked on its own promise to disallow politicians from holding positions in government-linked companies and to do away with a bumiputera-centric economic agenda.
"If you look at the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP), it clearly states that politicians can be director of GLCs. They are repeating the same thing (as what BN did). And they are justifying it too.
"It is a conflict of interest. Didn't they speak against this when they were the opposition? Why are they repeating it? (It is) because of political financing," he said.
Gomez was one of the panellists speaking at the forum held during the “Conflict of Interest” conference organised by NGO Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) in Kuala Lumpur today.
Also present was Youth and Sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who is also Bersatu Youth chief.
Gomez, known for his strong criticism of Malaysian governments during the BN era, also pointed out that key figures in today's governing coalition were the same ones the country had in the 1990s.
Prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his confidante Daim Zainuddin and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim had been the subjects at the centre of his two books in the 1990s that discussed the politics of business and funding, he reminded.
"Today, the problem is that we have a change of government, but the key leaders are the same ones we had in the 1990s. Why is this problematic? I look at the political discourses (then) and the current political discourses.
"Soon after they came into power, after saying very clearly that politicians should not be involved in GLCs [...] in their manifesto they (Harapan) said there will be no more race-based policies. Now they say that a bumiputera policy will be in place, again.
"It is a repeat of discourses used in the past. And we have seen the abuse of policies, including the New Economic Policy (NEP), or the bumiputera agenda, to serve vested interests," he said.
Gomez said the vested interest could be seen through the views of