PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto is “nothing more than rhetoric”, says Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
“There are no fresh and realistic promises that can benefit the people,” the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications director said in a statement today.
He was responding to Pakatan’s manifesto for GE14 that was launched last night.
The opposition pact’s secretariat chief Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the manifesto was a collaborative effort of partner parties, formulated after speaking with, academics, civil society groups, economists, professionals and former civil servants among others.
He said the coalition will be driven by five pillars containing 60 promises to be fulfilled over the next five years.
“The 200-page document, which took the coalition 15 months to complete, is a practical, not a populist, manifesto,” Saifuddin said.
The 10 promises that PH will implement within the first 100 days are: scrap GST, have targeted petrol subsidies, eliminate Felda settlers’ debts, enable housewives to contribute to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), streamline minimum wages, return the status of Sabah and Sarawak according to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), suspend PTPTN higher education fund repayments for those earning below RM4,000, have “healthcare” scheme for all, open investigations into scandals, and review mega projects.
“The manifesto is aimed at creating a better Malaysia in terms of the economy, race relations, strengthening of government institutions, foreign affairs and good governance, among others,” Saifuddin said.
Referring to the five pillars that will be the main focus of the manifesto, he said that the first two pillars are to focus on reducing the people’s burden and strengthening government institutions.
“The third pillar is to focus on people’s economy, while the fourth and fifth pillars are to decentralise powers for Sabah and Sarawak, and bring back the glory days of Malaysia.”
Abdul Rahman said Pakatan’s plan to return to the 10 per cent and 6 per cent service tax (SST) is non-transparent and inefficient.
“GST collects RM41 billion, SST collects RM17 billion. How does Pakatan plan on covering a deficit of over RM20 billion,” he questioned.
He also said that Pakatan is flip-flopping its stance on petrol.
“Pakatan wants to return to subsidised petrol. Previously, they promised to lower petrol prices to RM1.50 per litre for all. The BN government has implemented targeted subsidies by giving cash directly to those who are in need since 2012.”
He pointed out that Pakatan had previously said it would eliminate the National Higher Education Corporation (PTPTN) debt.
“Now they say that people will start to pay when their gross salary exceeds RM4,000.”
He added that the Government had exempted RM1.23 billion worth of student loans for 41,706 students who had received first class honours.
On Pakatan’s promise to raise the minimum wage of workers, Abdul Rahman said there is no need to wait for Pakatan for this to happen.
“The Minimum Salary Order (2012) sets the minimum wage rates and is revised every two years. This year, it will be reviewed again,” he said.