Economists applauded Pakatan Rakyat's manifesto as a thoughtful review of the problems affecting the Malaysian economy despite doubts about a few of its more populist measures.
Critics said among its shortcomings was the lack of a broader vision to unite all Malaysians.
Generally, they said that if it was implemented, the manifesto would be a boon to the Malaysian economy and iron out some bottlenecks such as the wealth gaps and leakages that have recently choked what was once South-East Asia's most dynamic economy.
"As far as the election manifesto goes, it is comprehensive and quite well written. It addresses serious issues in Malaysia that any government needs to deal with," said Terence Gomez ( left ), Universiti Malaya's political economy expert.
"However, it's a little micro-driven... it may be missing the big picture of the society they should be trying to create."
The Pakatan coalition said that its policies will save RM49.5 billion. They said that the savings will come from curbing corruption, prudent spending and increasing government revenue by spurring economic development.
The thrust of Pakatan's economic policy appears to be aimed at reducing the government's role, a review of government-linked monopolies, removing unproductive subsidies, and a review of bloated infrastructure projects.
Money saved would be injected back as handout measures to a broad base of groups such as women, the aged, veterans, students and plantation workers.
"It's a fantastic budget. It would cut subsidy costs and plough it back to the people," said an economist with an investment bank who declined to be identified.
"What they are saying is that they are working on and improving the government to put in a more efficient management system."
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