Monday, April 8, 2013

Comparing BN manifesto and PR manifesto

Anyone visiting Malaysia right now would know that we are heating up for the next general election, the much-awaited GE13.

The question is WHEN. Political party flags, banners and buntings are all flying purposefully in the wind. All of a sudden even tall trees have sprouted flags.

Yes, election fever is everywhere. Parliament was dissolved last Wednesday which gives a 60-day period for elections to be held.

Most, if not all, of us would already by now have decided on who we will be voting for. Whichever party you are giving your vote to, do it with your eyes wide open and know what you will be getting yourself into should your party win. A party's manifesto provides some clues as to what to expect.

I have here the manifestos of both the opposition party, PR, and the ruling party, BN, for your information/comparison.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or the People's Alliance is the opposition to the ruling Barisan Nasional (or National Front) at the federal level.  PR currently controls four state governments.

The political coalition was formed by the People's Justice Party (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP), and Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) on April 1, 2008, after the 12th Malaysian general election.

Presenting the manifesto in February were PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, PAS research head Dzulkefly Ahmad and DAP's M Kulasegaran. The People's Hope consists of 4 thrusts: The People's Well-being; The Fraternity of the People; The People's Economy; and The People's Government.  The PR manifesto is as follows:

The People's Well-Being
Lower oil prices

Lower oil price

Lower electricity charges

Lower water charges

Abolish tolls

Abolish monopolies

Lower car prices

150,000 affordable and comfortable housing

National Housing Corp: Investing RM5bil in the 1st year and RM2bil a year after to build affordable and comfortable housing

Free education for all, abolishing PTPTN

Eliminating AES, revoking AES summonses

Justice for Felda settlers

Increase police capabilities to solving crime

Free ward service to all citizens in all government hospitals for class 2 and 3 wards

Social Welfare Assistance increased to RM550 a month

The Fraternity of the People
Repect the position of Islam as the official religion and guaranteeing the freedom of religion as enshrined in the Federal Constitution

Elevate culture as a positive foundation of community

Malaysian Women's Contribution Fund: contribution of RM50 per month for wives who qualify, and husbands will be obliged to provide towards a contribution fund proportionate to their income (between RM10 to RM100) per month

Senior Citizens' Bonus Scheme (60 years and above): RM1,000 Bonus each year

Uphold the national language, ensure the rights of mother-tongue languages, and improve the command of English

Additional assistance of RM300 per student each year for the 1,854 people's religious schools, national-type Chinese and Tamil schools (SJK), private Chinese, Tamil, Iban, Kadazan and mission schools

Recognize Unified Examination Certificate (Combined Chinese Schools) (UEC)

Respect the position of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation - federal co-operation, fair representation, citizenship, recognition of customary Land Rights, competence and capability of Sabah and Sarawak, justice in the oil issue and unified development

Immediate programmes for Sabah and Sarawak - eliminate cabotage system, create investment incentives to create jobs, oil companies owned by the governments of Sabah and Sarawak, highway across Sabah and sarawak, halt the construction of dams that destroy the environment and displace locals

Preserve Orang Asli customary land rights and welfare

The People's Economy
1 million new job opportunities for the people by gradually reducing dependence on foreign labour

Minimum wage of RM1,100 per month; RM2 billion facilitation fund to facilitate minimum wage

People s Pioneer Scheme: train 1 million school leavers without higher education to uplift their skills in technical fields, combining employment opportunities with periodic certification of skills

5 technical universities and 25 new vocational schools to be built

Education reform to drive the economy

Cultivate smart partnership of trade unions, employers and government

SMIs and innovation to drive to national economy - RM500 million national innovation fund, SMI financing and incentives reshuffle

Tax adjustment to promote equity - income band will be broadened so that the 26% tax rate will be payable for taxable income exceeding RM400,000 as compared to 250,000 at present

Sustainable economy - halt Lynas operations, review implementation, phases of RAPID, reform all existing legislation related of logging, and will regulate logging activities

Defend military veterans' economy and welfare - RM500 million for military Veterans Small Entrepreneur Fund, increase government contribution to the Armed Forces Board (AFFB) from 15% to 20% (managed separately from pension funds), Soldiers' Dividend will remunerate non-pensionable veterans to the amount of RM2,000 per year

Making taxi entrepreneurs viable by giving permits directly to taxi drivers

R&D investments to reach 5% of GDP

Public transport - the lifeline of the national economy - free public transport for differently- abled people, integrated plan involving MRT and buses in the Klang Valley

RM2 billion to double the number of buses and bus routes, initiate steps towards building in the first inter-city high speed rail system in Southeast Asia

Break monopolies to encourage competition - anti Monopoly Commission,Public Contracts Commission to evaluate public agreements like IPP and unfair concessions, break up monopolies in communication, essential foods , pharmaceuticals, civil aviation and other key sectors, dissolve 1MBD, open tenders , disposal and handover of government holdings in selected government- linked companies (GLCs) via management by-out (MBO) to produce more viable entrepreneurs

The People's Government
Reform Islamic and religious institutions.

New remuneration and service packages for civil servants

Clean, fair and transparent elections.

Reform the judiciary, Attorney General's Chambers, MACC and PDRM.

Reform Parliament

Media freedom and restore trust in the media practitioners

Abolish UUCA and ensure academic freedom

Abolish legislation that is "anti-rakyat"

Corruption Elimination Policy (DEBARAN) - restructure the MACC to focus on big corruption cases that involve the public interest, tighten corruption-related legislation.

Source: Malaysia Chronicle

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) manifesto would be launched by Prime Minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil. Highlights to include:

1. Easing the Cost of Living:
2. Uplifting Urban Well-being:
3. Access To Quality Health Services:
4. Towards Greater Efficiency in Public Transportation:
5. World Class Infrastructure Development and Rural Transformation
6. Strengthening Women's Participation:
7. Building a Resilient, Dynamic and Innovative Economy:
8. Building towards Educational Excellence:
9. Enhancing Security and Public Safety:
10. Nurturing Youth:
11. Weaving a Network of Social Safety Nets:
12. Promoting Islam, Religious Freedom and Harmony:
13. Fighting the Scourge of Corruption:
14. Revitalising the Public Service and Enhancing Good Governance:
15. Promises for a Global Movement of Moderates:
16. Providing Affordable and Secure Housing:
17. Preserving Nature's Resources:

For details of the BN manifesto, visit Barisan National Manifesto.

Meanwhile, News.Yahoo! reported yesterday that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders accused Barisan Nasional (BN) of copying from their election manifesto that was launched more than a month ago, and added that the ruling pact’s promises of more cash handouts would not fix flaws in the country’s system.

Related articles:
GE13: Pakatan cries plagiarism
GE13:BN manifesto a Pakatan ‘copy’
GE13: Opposition manifesto will lead to financial crisis, says Husni


  1. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Lower oil prices, electricity charges, water charges, abolish tolls, free education for all, abolishing PTPTN, free ward service to all citizens in all government hospitals for class 2 and 3 wards - where is all the money going to come from for all these? It does not grow on trees or drop down from the sky, yunno! Increase income tax to pay for all these? I am very sure everyone will be SO very happy to chip in!!!

    Lower car prices - don't we have enough cars already - all the horrendous traffic jams everywhere. Should raise prices...increase tolls, have restricted zones like Singapore, make people take public transport.

    Social Welfare Assistance increased to RM550 a month - Gee! That's almost the same as the minimum wage. Can imagine everybody refusing to work, go on in countries overseas.

    1. I believe they are speaking from their experience governing the current states. They are making money currently sans all the unnecessary leakages/outflows.

    2. About cheaper cars, the crux of the matter is not the quantity but the price. If one is buying a car wouldn't he prefer to buy one at say RM30k less, for instance? I would.

    3. Anonymous7:04 PM

      Everyone wants cheaper...anything!!! That's sheer common sense.

      But if they have cheaper cars, then they will have to thing of more and wider roads, more parking spaces etc etc etc.... Is that in the manifesto? NO!!! Isn't the situation in KL and other places absolutely horrible? And you want more and more cars on the road? Never mind! Just give them what they want - we'll work on the problem as and when it arises - is that how they function?

      It is bad enough here - I certainly would not want it to get any worse.

    4. Anonymous7:12 PM

      State government making money? Do they have all these there - lower oil prices, electricity charges, water charges, tolls abolished, free education for all, abolishing PTPTN, free ward service to all citizens in all government hospitals for class 2 and 3 wards etc...etc...etc... They wouldn't be making money if they were to give all these, I'm sure.

      Frankly I'm surprised that that party in the coalition is backing this kind of manifesto - it is not our kind of thinking/mentality. We don't hope for freebies - we work hard for everything. That's why we are successful in what we do.

    5. Cheaper cars - I think the primary concern is to correct an existing anomaly as in putting something right for the consumer.

      Still, who knows, a change might do us good. Whatever it is, a two-party system is the way to go. If one does not perform, the people can always go back to the former.

  2. Anonymous6:50 PM

    On the other hand, the promises from the other side seem so general - aren't those the things that have been going on right now? Of course, how successful, how effective...that's another story.

  3. Anonymous6:58 PM

    "Senior Citizens' Bonus Scheme (60 years and above): RM1,000 Bonus each year" Yaaaaa!!!! THIS, I like... Wait a minute! Didn't I get that last year? Or is that on top of what government pensioners are already getting?

    Sorry lah, old wifey, you're not 60 yet. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

    1. Oh, did you get RM1000 last year? I thought they gave only RM500 per household? Are we talking about the same thing?

    2. Anonymous7:00 PM

      We got RM500 two times last year - bonus for giovernment pensioners. That is why I am asking if this RM1,000 will be an additional bonus on top of that...

      The other handout for lower income households - I did not get that. My wife's and my pensions exceed the limit specified.

    3. Thanks for the clarification on this one.

  4. All the promises but are they empty promises?

  5. Promises promises......after election everyone have amnesia

    1. it's just not ossible even if the plug all the leakage that they will be able to provide so many free things...some more the other day heard each student in government school will be given a laptop??/