COMMENT | The Pakatan Harapan manifesto was a waste of time. The only good proposals were the ones that have been reworded from BN's past manifestos and plans.
So much of what I saw in the document is unfeasible. Take, for example, their proposal to have live English Premier League games on RTM. This is immensely costly and shortsighted.
While the current government provides nationwide projects to one day bring Malaysian football to a world standard, Harapan wants to continue watching the rest of the world play the sport.
Harapan's proposal to allow PTPTN borrowers to pay back only when they reach a salary of RM4,000 and above is also unsustainable for PTPTN’s balance accounts.
A lot of the document's proposals are also dangerously backwards. Take, for example, their proposal to subsidise petrol for the sake of reducing the cost of living. The government had long ago decided that we want to move away from a dependency on fossil fuels.
Our future is one of green and renewable energy. Germany and China are currently establishing an economy capable of running on renewable energy and subsidising petrol will mean we will be left behind.
Harapan also wants to eradicate GST, which will mean a reduction in the government’s income at a time when we want to diversify sources of revenue. Unless Harapan can list out an alternative source of the government’s income, their other costly proposals are financially unattainable.
Harapan listed out a few commitments for the youth. They promise to provide more jobs for the youth of which the minimum salary is RM2,500. While this sounds sweet on paper, we must ask how they intend to achieve this.
The current government looks at TVET (technical and vocational education training), as well as initiatives to train our youths for jobs of the future. We have even provided SL1M (Skim Latihan 1Malaysia) allowance of RM2,000.
What then are Harapan’s blueprint for attaining this one million employment mark?
A hard time
Harapan also promises to build a million affordable homes across Malaysia and provide accessible loans for first-time youth homeowners. These are initiatives that have been copy-pasted from BN's previous documents. This is nothing new.
It is also important to rebut is Harapan’s intention to increase the minimum salary to RM1,500. Again, this is dangerous on the long-term economy. New small and medium enterprises will not be able to afford a hike in salaries.
What’s more, for employees who currently have an RM1,500 salary, the new minimum will result in many employees demanding a raise. This will inevitably raise costs all around and will potentially lead to nationwide defaults.
Startups will also have a hard time looking at Malaysia as an attractive economic hub.
Once again, Harapan’s manifesto lacks any initiatives on establishing a renewable and green economy. The current government would not just create recreational parks, we intend to foster a recycling and green mentality. This is what it truly means to live in a shared economy.
Let us not be swayed by the sweet-talking Harapan. Let us not forget that their intention is not to serve the public but rather to obtain the power to further their personal agenda.
Harapan’s manifesto is unsustainable and unrealistic. It is just a false hope.
KHAIRUL AZWAN HARUN is a Senator and Umno Youth deputy chief.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.