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