Pakatan’s Manifesto: The future is here! 

This writer is not duty-bound to rationalise how Pakatan would pay for the many reforms that it vouches to undertake as opposed to presenting a budget. Nonetheless this small writing would attempt to allay the anxieties of those who seemed so concern that Pakatan would bankrupt the national coffer in the first year of being in office in Putrajaya.

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Harakah Daily

The task for the next Malaysian Government with regard to national transformation is of a different order of magnitude to that witnessed thus far, from the time of Merdeka. Doing more of the same things would not place us on a different trajectory of change and competitiveness. 

This resource-rich nation requires a sea-change in its social, institutional and economic system, in short a ‘revolution’ in the strategic approach of redressing the economic woes and the mind-sets of all stakeholders namely the Rakyat.

Weary of being subjected to the unending failures, with every changing of the guard that has helmed this nation, there is a growing despair and a sinister contempt for anything to do with ‘power’ and the ‘authority’. This presents an obstacle to effecting genuine change and sustainable reform. 

Worst of it all, is the negative perception, real or otherwise, and a sense of a lost trust, that whatever policies be proposed and whatever resources and however colossal, be devoted to pursuing them, social and economic position of the vast majority of the Rakyat, will not change.
For that reason and that reason alone, the time has come for this nation to seriously consider a regime change as to allow the nation to take a political breather.

At this critical juncture of the nation history of socio-economic development and with the ‘mother of all elections’ looming ever closer, Pakatan Rakyat, now presents to the rakyat a manifesto entitled: ‘Pakatan Harapan Rakyat’ or ‘The People’s Pact and the People’s Hope’. 

It is been a week over now that the Pakatan’s People Manifesto has been officially launched. Audacious though it may seem, but Pakatan, well ahead of its political nemesis, the Barisan Nasional, is consciously and willingly subjecting herself to the thorough scrutiny of the entire nation. 

Overtly disturbed by the challenger to her uninterrupted hegemony to power, the BN however insisted of launching her manifesto only after the official dissolution of the parliament, a task ostensibly so agonising to the incumbent premier.

But what is a manifesto? The Free Encyclopedia, Wikipedia has it that ‘A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government’.

That definition fits PR’s manifesto comfortably. Taking centre-stage position quickly thereafter, in both the off-line and on-line media by the BN-controlled and particularly so in the New Media, the manifesto was scrutinised closely by all. Expectedly there was a mixed response of outright support and downright rejection.

More importantly for Pakatan Rakyat, through its initiative of launching her manifesto early, it has gotten a free platform for exchanges of ideas and feedback, to be gleaned, discoursed and debated by all, despite being disadvantaged by an asymmetrical access to the mainstream media.

Notwithstanding all kinds of critiques and recommendations which would surely be put to good use, this writer intends to now highlight of what makes this Pakatan Manifesto unique.

Going by the above definition, this writer is not duty-bound to rationalise how Pakatan would pay for the many reforms that it vouches to undertake as opposed to presenting a budget. Nonetheless this small writing would attempt to allay the anxieties of those who seemed so concern that Pakatan would bankrupt the national coffer in the first year of being in office in Putrajaya.

While there is a consensus that Malaysia’s economic growth and social indicators have outperformed our regional peers like Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, other countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong  have arguably outperformed us by many times since decades ago. So, what went wrong?

Although many wouldn’t doubt that Malaysia is at a cross road, many others would also not doubt that the UMNO-BN’s formula of socio-economic development has failed us to achieve the socially just development that all the rakyat cherished and dreamt of. The long deferred reform agenda must be now addressed.

The Rakyat as the true owners and stakeholders of this beloved nation is now ready to make the next quantum leap of nation rebuilding and Pakatan is here to together realise this mission. Paktan Rakyat truly believes that this Manifesto of ‘Pakatan Harapan Rakyat’ provides for a vision and a mission of a people that has been subverted and denied of seeing a better, nay of A New Malaysia!

Premised on four fundamental pillars – Fraternity-Brotherhood of the People (Rakyat Bersaudara), the People’s Economy (Ekonomi Rakyat), the People’s Well-being (Kesejahteraan Rakyat) and the People’s Government (Kerajaan Rakyat), the Pakatan’s Manifesto promises and is committed to ensuring justice, peace and equality for all the rakyat.

It clearly defines its mission of achieving a socially just development and shall be constantly guided by a people-centric paradigm. Our policies endeavour to uphold the aspirations of the rakyat are clearly against favouring the interests of the elite and their cronies which have resulted in an ‘unequal society’ of many disenfranchised ‘have-little people’ and a minute rich and the super-rich elites, very well connected to the power that be.

It is our commitment to continue to have our clean and transparent government. We offer the rakyat our administration that is based on good governance guided by moral principles and universal values. Under Pakatan’s administration, we shall continue to ensure fair and effective distribution of our abundant national wealth resulting in a marked increase in the quality and standard of living of the rakyat.

We want and will continue to administer Malaysia with trust, accountability and competency which will see a rise in prosperity of the rakyat and a dignified life for all. Our vision of a dignified society is one that is confident about its historical roots and remains steadfast to religious principles and universal values.

It is a society that defends the truth and opposes cruelty, oppression and despotism. We shall endear the fraternity and brotherhood of all mankind and strives for continuous improvement. The biggest denomination that binds us together is the fact that we are all Malaysians despite our plurality in religious beliefs, ethnic groupings and being culturally diverse. 

In that sense we are a Malaysian first society. A society that celebrates and accepts differences as a source of strength will provide a strong foundation for a renewed community life.

Pakatan Harapan Rakyat reiterates our respect for the position of Islam as the official religion of the Federation while equally guarantees the freedom of other religions as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. 
Islam’s unique position shall foster a spirit of mutual and profound respect and understanding each other’s belief and cultural values and not as a cause of ‘division’ and ‘dissension’ as recently witnessed in the case of the ‘Allah’ controversy. We are against religious bigotry and racial narrow-mindedness. 

By promoting the appreciation of universal values which Islam and other religion embrace, we aim to produce a virtuous Malaysian society, comprising of discerning individuals who possess integrity, diligence and shall not fall easy prey to the insinuation of greed, corruption and embezzlement of ill-gotten wealth. 

In all the offerings in our agenda for the People’s Well-being and the People’s Economy which amount to RM45.75 billion, the Pakatan Manifesto’s panel members, reassure the electorates that through the 3 critical measures, namely of prudent spending and avoiding leakages, realigning priority and through a sustainable growth, we are quite confident of generating enough revenue to deliver our promises in our first term of office. 

The target of achieving a household income shall remain our abiding mission which if achieved to the level 50-75% , in our first term shall surely be very commendable and will be continued in the next 14th parliamentary session. 

Our ‘income-based’ approach of increasing both income and disposable income of the rakyat, through reducing the cost of living and restructuring and strengthening the foundation of a people’s economy, inter-alia, allowing for a better human capital, is arguably more superior to the supposedly ‘asset-based’ approach of the NEP’s of Umno-BN, that has yet to be achieved after 5 decades, namely of the 30% bumiputera equity ownership target.

And for lack of a correct terminology, our effort is to forge and empower a model that includes the rakyat as important employees, stakeholders and beneficiaries in a “Social Market Economy” construct that is unique to our need and demand, as to propel this nation ahead, in a socially just development.



In the final analysis, Pakatan humbly stands by our administrative record in the states it governs, which is proof of our capacity and ability in building a trustworthy federal government that will enrich and empower all segments of the rakyat and fulfil the mission of a Benevolent State – Negara Berkebajikan (Baldatun Tayyibah) as envisaged by Islam. The Future is Here!