It is unfair to compare Harapan with BN

P Ramasamy

Modified 22 Feb 2019, 3:18 am

ADUN SPEAKS | Is it fair to critically examine the performance of the Pakatan Harapan coalition after only nine months in power?

Or whether the coalition should be given time before a major appraisal is undertaken?

These two questions might not be relevant to critics who have already launched their assessment by saying that Harapan is no different from the earlier BN government.

Basically, it is argued that Harapan has not implemented what was promised in its manifesto and that the inclusion of former BN leaders in some principal roles does not augur well for the reforms promised.

While criticisms are important in steering the present government to meet what was promised, can we jump to the conclusion that Harapan is no different from BN?

The non-deliverance of what was promised in the manifesto remains a sore point to many within the Harapan fold.

However, are we right in saying that Harapan might not deliver even though it might take time?

Only nine months have gone by since Harapan took power; progress does seem rather slow on many fronts, but is Harapan returning back to the days of BN?

I don’t think so, even if there are some symptoms associated with the old regime.

What took place on May 9, 2018, was not a revolution but change of government for the first time in the political history of the country.

Earlier attempts at forming a coalition have failed so much so that many people in the country came to accept the inevitability of BN as the ruling government. Even with the falling of some states to the opposition in 2008 and 2013, replacement at the central level was the question.

Whatever one may say of Harapan, credit must be given to its leaders and supported by the rakyat for effecting a historic democratic change that was unexpected.

Even if Harapan is replaced in the future with some other coalition, the fact would remain that Malaysians can bring about political change if they so desire. They have done so and will be emboldened to do so in the future!

The victory of Harapan in the last general election was not merely its victory but a victory for Malaysians who wanted change for the betterment.

In the ultimate sense, if the Harapan government fails to deliver the promises, the rakyat will be the judge.

If Malaysians were generous enough to give BN about six decades, surely nine months is a minuscule period to judge Harapan.

It's not that Harapan is always doing the right things; there are many setbacks. Its ministers might not be performing and it might be relying on the old BN bureaucracy to bring about changes.

Maybe it is too early to judge the performance of Harapan. Of course, there is no honeymoon period for the government. It will be continuously judged and evaluated on its performance.

However, it is still premature to say that Harapan has returned to the old ways of the BN.

I can understand the frustrations amongst Harapan supporters on the slow pace of change, but to equate Harapan with BN might not be accurate, based on one or two examples.

Harapan is not flawless.

It could have done a few notable things in the recent past in accordance with its manifesto but it failed.

More than its political enemies, its supporters are frustrated. There is nothing wrong with this.

When all is said and done, Harapan must remain committed to give hope to Malaysians. It is this provision of hope that fundamentally differentiates Harapan from BN.

P RAMASAMY is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also deputy chief minister II of Penang.

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

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