Pakatan’s Own Dismal Record

Khoo Kay Peng

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders should not be too eager to mock Prime Minister Najib Razak’s recent announcements on his 100th day ‘goodies’ to the people.

The announcements made by the prime minister may appear insignificant and insufficient to address the core issues faced by the country. However, the incoherent and quarrelsome PR coalition may actually make the prime minister sound good and efficient.

At best, PR’s own performance in the last fifteen months was mediocre. Apart from making some pledges to reform e.g. the introduction of a Freedom of Information Act in Selangor, the intention to hold local elections and the declaration of assets by the state executive members, a number of PR state governments’ initiatives were equally populist. Initiatives such as giving free water to households and a token allowance to the elderly will not help to eradicate poverty permanently.

None of the state governments have indicated how they are going to run their respective government differently from the previous administration. Ask any of the people who live in any of the PR run state; none of them can clearly explain the mid-term and long-term vision and direction of their new state government.

There is an apparent lack of effort from some of the PR state governments to reach out to the people. As a result, the Kedah state government had announced a revision of 30 percent Bumiputera quota for all housing projects to 50 percent. Instead of trying to help homeless Malay families to own a home, the state government’s insistence to implement the new quota would have been detrimental to the housing sector in the state. The state government obviously did not consider improving the income of these families as an option to help them to be able to afford their own house.

Some of the PR controlled state governments must be careful with their own announcements. It would be a mistake to take it for granted that the voters will continue to support the lesser of two evils. Cynically, a number of people would seriously consider selling their soul to the devil if all possible options and hope have run out.