The Battle for Putrajaya

By Thomas Lee Seng Hock, MySinchew

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has announced three promises that the Pakatan Rakyat would implement if the alternative coalition comes to power after the next general election.

The promises are (1) abolishing the controversial saman ekor (postal summons) scheme; (2) providing an annual ex-gratia of RM1,000 to each senior citizen aged 60 and above; and (3) providing free wi-fi or wireless broadband service throughout the country.

According to Guan Eng, the DAP central executive committee had agreed during its meeting on Thursday 12 August 2010 to issue a directive to all party leaders to publicise the three promises during all political functions.

He said the three promises proposed by the DAP had been accepted by its Pakatan Rakyat partners, and would duly be implemented should the alternative coalition win the Battle of Putrajaya at the next general election.

“These are the three policy initiatives that will bring benefit to the people that we are confident will be carried out by the Pakatan Rakyat should we win Putrajaya. We do not just want to harp on the corrupt practices of the Barisan Nasional, but also want to talk about what we can do for the people,” Lim told a press conference at the party headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

On the controversial saman ekor scheme, Guan Eng said that blacklisting vehicle owners was not only unfair but actually a violation of the principles of natural justice, and should be declared an illegal practice.

On the annual ex-gratia for senior citizens, Guan Eng said it would be a practical way of showing recognition and appreciation to them for their contribution to the country.

He said the exercise would merely cost the federal government RM2.1 billion annually, and “what is RM2.1 billion when the country squanders RM28 billion annually to corruption”.

Regarding the provision of free wi-fi service throughout the country, Guan Eng said the move is part of the impetus to take the nation to greater heights in the fast-changing world scenario.

“We must innovate and only when you do that, you are racing to the top. If not, you are racing to the bottom,” he said.

The three policy initiatives proposed by the DAP certainly deserve the support and endorsement of the people.

However, we should take an indepth look at each of these three promises and, perhaps, offer some inputs to augment and enhance their benefits and advantages.

First, the controversial saman ekor scheme. It is a blacklisting system which bars traffic offenders who fail to pay their summonses from renewing their licences and road tax.

Currently, more than 650,000 traffic offenders are being blacklisted, indicating the seriousness of the traffic situation in the country, especially that of speeding motorists.