Malaysiakini News

Having won, Harapan must be scrutinised and held accountable

Eric See-To  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Of course I am shocked by the scale of the reversal suffered by BN.

At the same time, I am also concerned that the wide-ranging transformation programme undertaken by the Najib Abdul Razak government would be interrupted.

This transformation initiative was one of two reasons why I decided to speak out for BN.

The other reason was that I saw there was a need to expose the lies and propaganda of Pakatan Harapan and hold them accountable too.

That was why I had placed great importance on basing much of my writing on truths and facts, as well as providing a different perspective or view to Harapan's propaganda and promises.

It would be equally dangerous if there was no scrutiny on them, with the public just blindly believing what they say without thought. There would simply be no checks and balances.

Regardless of the outcome of this general election, I implore all Malaysians to place equal scrutiny on Harapan, as you have put on BN before.

Whether I continue to play my role in BN or not is a question for the future but there is no harm in reading what BN says without just dismissing them outright as "spin" or "lies" - as the Harapan leaders accuse.

Going back to the transformation programme, we should be reminded that this programme was carefully crafted to provide a workable plan to achieve a vision of a high-income, developed, equal Malaysia with a high quality of life while correcting many legacy problems of the past that Malaysians were unhappy with.

The transformation programme was not cobbled together hastily but was a result of over a year of work by dozens of experts and consultation with the private sector and other stakeholders.

It is a good programme that, although still in its execution phase, has already achieved many tangible and measurable results.

For example, public transportation has been vastly improved while car prices have become more affordable to the people compared to before, with much of the Franchise Approved Permits (AP) problems resolved.

The problems with the legacy lop-sided Independent Power Plants were also resolved - saving Malaysians RM400 billion to RM600 billion over the next 20 years if you subscribe to Harapan's previous claims.

Poverty rates at lowest point in history

Income inequality was aggressively targeted with policy tools such as minimum wage, BR1M, increased public housing - with the result that Malaysia is now more equal than ever with the Gini Coefficient having fallen below 0.40 for the first time in history, with poverty rates also at its lowest point in history.

Since the transformation programme started, household incomes of the bottom B40 income groups have also seen rising faster than at any other point in Malaysian history.

The transformations on education standards via the various education blueprints have also seen the global rankings of our universities no longer dropping, like it was before 2008, and have seen it rise quickly in international rankings over the past 3 years.

For example, the globally QS Universiti Rankings have seen Universiti Malaysia improve from 246th place in 2007 to 113th place now in the list of the best universities in the world.

The transformation programme also made our economy more resilient. We have had record investments over the years, we are no longer overly dependent on oil revenues and after recording among the fastest GDP growth in the world last year, we are well on our way to becoming a high-income country.

In fact, Malaysia is on track to beat Singapore's GDP growth for seven years in a row - something that has never happened before.

There are many other transformation initiatives. Among these include the much-loved UTCs, the Baucer Buku programmes, purchase back of PLUS Highways, the Pengerang initiative and freezing of its tolls, the toll-free Pan Borneo Highway and Central Spine Road.

There are simply too many to list

However, it is clear now from the 14th general election results that tangible results are less important to the voters than what was offered by our opponents in their propaganda and manipulation of emotions.

In ending, I stress that there are still many benefits to the transformation programme and whoever is in government today should not just dismiss the programme out of hand.

There is still much that is good in it.

In the meantime, I wish Harapan all the best.

ERIC SEE-TO is BN strategic communication department deputy director.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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