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Today marks exactly 90 days of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) historical win over the then ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition federal government which had governed the country for 55 years, and in Malaya for 59 years.
The results of the 14th General Election (GE14) as we all know, had annihilated the power of the once invincible United Malays National Organization (Umno)-led BN federal government, bringing it to its knees.
The win as we all know now was based on a populist manifesto which was unveiled by PH on the eve of GE14, and which has been accepted as something as almost the ‘gospel’ truth by the majority of Malaysians who decided to go for that ‘change’ which has been yearned for by most Malaysians. They were very convinced then that the BN which was led by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had ruined the entire reputation of the country especially with the massive media coverage of the 1MDB scandal.
Now, let’s have a flashback to PH’s pledges and manifesto which it promised to fulfill in 100 days. The ten promises are as follows: abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and taking steps to reduce cost of living; to stabilise the price of petrol and targeted petrol subsidies; abolish the unnecessary debts that have been imposed on Felda settlers; introducing EPF for housewives; equalise the minimum wage nationally and start the process to increase the minimum wage; postpone the repayment of PTPTN loans to all graduates whose salaries are below RM4,000 per month and abolish the backlisting policy; to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry on IMDB, Felda, Mara and Tabung Haji and to reform the governance of these bodies; to set up a Special Cabinet Commission to properly enforce the Malaysia Agreement of 1963; introducing Skim Peduli Sihat with RM500 worth of funding for the B40 group or for basic treatment in registered private clinics and to initiate a comprehensive review of all megaprojects that have been awarded to foreign countries.
As citizens, we should not be too fast to judge but at the same time, we have to remind the current federal government that it has only 10 more days to implement these promises.
And just by gazing through these ten promises, one can easily see that almost none have been fulfilled except the abolishment of GST which will be replaced by the Sales and Services Tax (SST) ranging from ten (10) per cent for sales tax and six (6) per cent for the services tax, come September.
Along the way, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had already told Malaysians that the manifesto was not a ‘gospel’ truth. His statement has thus been criticised and drawn flak from both sides of the political divide, including ordinary Malaysians.
Now, one cannot help but ponder what will become of these 10 promises when it comes to its deadline in 10 days’ time, and counting.
Although Malaysians have been praised by the international community on the smooth transition of power after May 9, one cannot help but ask the question: what is going to happen if these promises are not fulfilled within the stipulated timeframe?
Will Malaysians be able to take it at face value and move on with life and wait for another five years to decide the next federal government or will Malaysians go to the streets and demand for these promises to be fulfilled? For that, only time will tell.
Let’s be very honest and frank with ourselves, that it is almost impossible for any government in the entire planet to govern without imposing taxes on its citizens except for a few super rich countries such as Brunei, Monaco and the Bahamas.
However, we can be very proud of ourselves that we are, by and large, law-abiding citizens. So, let us hope that the PH federal government will be able to deliver its 10 pledges, if not within the 100 days as promised but at least in the next five years. — DayakDaily