Malaysiakini News

Five years, not 100 days, to judge govt's performance, says Gerakan

Susan Loone  |  Published:  |  Modified:

A Penang Gerakan leader said the real test to assess Pakatan Harapan's achievement is during the 15th general election, which may be called by 2023 or earlier.

It would be fair to issue the government a report card then, by GE15, and not after 100 days, the party's national legal and human rights bureau chief Baljit Singh said today.

To be honest, Baljit said, one cannot assess the current government's performance in 100 days, nor can anyone judge whether BN is playing the role of an effective opposition or not in this brief time frame.

"GE15 is when the people would decide whether to vote in or vote out the government based on its performance. We cannot access any government's performance in a 100 days," Baljit told Malaysiakini.

"Harapan has been given the mandate to work for five years, so let us decide then. We will decide when we vote, for there is no voting in 100 days.

"By five years time, we would be able to issue them a report card, and grade them accordingly," added the Penang-based lawyer.

As it is a mere 100 days, Baljit pointed out, both sides of the divide - government and opposition (BN) - have not fully realised their roles in nation-building.

"Some quarters in the government (Harapan) are still acting like the opposition, while some in the opposition still behave as if they are in the ruling party," Baljit noted.

"Let's give them more time to behave according to their roles, for 100 days are too soon to evaluate their performance, be it government or opposition," Baljit added.

Harapan's GE14 manifesto made an ambitious call to fulfil 10 promises in 100 days, and the coalition of PKR, DAP, Amanah and Bersatu unseated the 60-year-old BN, ousting its prime minister Najib Razak, on May 9.

'Many pressing issues to focus on'

While two pledges in the manifesto - abolishing the goods and services tax and to review all mega-projects awarded to foreign countries - have been fulfilled, five are partially done and three more are in progress.

For Baljit, there are many pressing issues which the government and nation should be focusing on, instead of issues like those surrounding the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, which are currently hotly debated by various quarters.

This month alone, two incidents involving LGBTs have grabbed headlines - the removal of portraits of two activists from an art exhibition in Penang and a suggestion on the use of specialised toilets for the handicapped by transgenders.

"Leave the community alone. As far as I am concerned, they are God's creations and we should not be condemning others. By condemning the creation, we are condemning the maker," he said.

"Who are we to judge them?" Baljit asked.

"More importantly, issues related to the falling ringgit, the ever-increasing cost of living, corruption and child marriages should be discussed but not many are talking about these issues, compared to the noises on both sides of the divide regarding the LGBT matter," he observed.

"So let us refocus, recalibrate our attention and redirect our energies to the important issues confronting the nation and leave God's children alone," Baljit added.

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