Pakatan’s Common Platform Looks Good But Pledges Are Just Talk For Now

Pakatan has been criticized for not making its governance model comprehensive and transparent. This has resulted in the newly minted coalition being called a ‘fly-by-night’ operation.

By Khoo Kay Peng

The coalition has responded quite positively to the criticism and has unveiled for the first time its stand on several important key areas at their maiden convention. However, some highly anticipated issues such as local council election, Freedom of Information Act, and the status of secular Malaysia are left undefined.

Some good policy announcements include the much needed decentralisation of economy planning and management at the state government level. This move will allow state governments more control over their own economy and investment planning and promotion. Malaysia’s economic development is long hampered by inefficient and ineffective over centralisation at the federal government.

Economic Planning Unit and several ministries responsible for socio-economic development have done very little to push up the efficiency, vibrancy and productivity of our economic sectors. Over centralisation also breeds corruption. Overlap in decision making between ministries has resulted in unnecessary bureaucracy.

The move to decentralise the economy is a plus point for the Pakatan.

The coalition has promised to implement the Equal Opportunity Act and to provide help and assistance based on need not race. This is a good move and will help to retain capable people in the country. Affirmative action based on race is the sole main push factor for brain drain in the country.

Rightly, the coalition has decided to empower the parliament, which is still a rubber stamp of the ruling executives, by making GLCs and public institutions accountable to the august house. The outcome will be positive for all parliamentarians. If needed, they can form special committees to probe and enquire about certain policy decisions taken by these GLCs and institutions. The move will allow for better parliamentary transparency.

Parliamentarians will have to be more educated and informed on issues and policies Malaysia’s main problem is unqualified and low value added people are being voted into parliament while the capable ones are staying away from politics.

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