Monday, February 25, 2013

Let's Get Serious - Pakatan's Manifesto

Can they govern? .... Of course they can, just look at the current cabinet, you tell me we cannot find capable people to replace them??? Gawd!!! As for some cynics who question as to how the missions will be funded or whether they are empty promises - seriously, I don't think they will be able to meet all that has been written in the manifesto, but I do think they can achieve at least 1/3 and maybe another 1/3 work in progress and the balance will be status quo, even then that will be 100x better than the administration we had for the past 50 years. Much of whats written below has to do with economics, but to me another key point which I am sure Pakatan can do and will do is restore credibility and independence to the judiciary ... and improve the regulatory and policing bodies - only when its fair can you live in our own country without fear or favour. Why is it that we Malaysians hesitate to talk about which political side we are aligned with??? Where did that fear come from? What are we fearful of??? Who put those things there? Why aren't things that are supposed to protect me of my rights  there to protect me when I need it?

Below is the summary of Pakatan's Manifesto:

1.  Eliminating discrimination
2.  Recognizing the contribution of women and senior citizens
3.  Developing the national education system and a rming all
educational streams 
4.  Respecting the position of Sabah and Sarawak within the Federation
5.  Preserving Orang Asli customary land rights and welfare
6.  Respecting the position of Islam as the o cial religion,
guaranteeing the freedom of religion
7.  Promoting culture as the foundation of community living

"It’s for the good of BN that we vote for PR and for better future for the people at the same time.   What happens when PR becomes the New Government? We have a New Government with Less Experience in CORRUPTION and SCANDALS..... good for people.  We have a STRONG and RICH Opposition with 50 years Experience  in matters pertaining to CORRUPTION and SCANDALS.  They know the ins and out of corruption and scandals, so they can better check the PR government...."

1.  1 million job opportunities for the people
2.  Equitable productivity sharing through minimum wage
3.  One million school leavers trained as skilled labour
4.  Education reform to drive the economy
5.  Cultivating smart partnership of trade unions, employers
and government
6.  SMIs and innovation to drive the national economy
7.  Tax adjustment to promote equity
8.  Sustainable economy
9.  Defending military veterans’ economy and welfare
10. Making taxi entrepreneurs viable
11. R & D investments to reach 5% of GDP
12. Public transportation – the lifeline of the national economy
13. Breaking monopolies, encouraging competition

Pakatan Rakyat will increase the government contribution to the Armed Forces Fund Board (AFFB) from 15% to 20% to secure soldiers’ savings. An additional contribution of 5% will be administered in a special fund and separated 
from the pension fund contributions, to be used to finance funds and direct assistance to pensionable and non-pensionable soldiers.

Pakatan Rakyat will introduce a Soldiers’ Dividend which will remunerate non-pensionable veterans to the amount of RM2,000 per year, derived from supplementary governmental allocation and profit gains of AFFB. The estimated allocations needed to finance the Soldiers’ Dividend is RM400 million per year.

Pakatan Rakyat will abolish the system of granting taxi permits to selected companies who profit from taxi drivers’ labour. Taxi permits will be given directly to the taxi drivers in order to produce more taxi entrepreneurs.

Public transportation to be made free for differently-abled people.
Remodeling the planning of the Klang Valley public transportation system from being MRT-centric, to an integrated plan involving MRT and buses to improve the existing network and access.
Examining each contract awarded in the MRT package in light of updated legislation, to ensure it is corruption-free and cost-effective for the people.
Additional investment of RM2 billion in the first year to double the number of buses and bus routes in the Klang Valley 

Initiating steps towards building the first inter-city high speed rail system in Southeast Asia Pakatan Rakyat is committed to resolve the problem of traffic congestion in the Klang Valley and other major cities within 10 years 
of coming to power, with the aim of reducing congestion by 50% during its first term. Congestion problems have worsened due to policies which have neglected inter-city and intra-city public transportation systems. For a 
long time, investments in the public transport system were ignored until people had no choice but to use private vehicles.

Reliance on private vehicles has adverse effects on the economy. It increases subsidy expenditure, the economic burden on families, pollutes the environment and contributes to congestion.

Prudent and wise investment in public transport systems under Pakatan Rakyat will make public transportation a national economic lifeline.

"There is far too much subservience in our society. Observe functions where a minister turns up. Immediately there will be the sound of shuffling chairs as people stand up. Why should we do so? Why the grovelling and hand kissing? Democratically elected officials are just like any one of us and to afford them such obsequiousness is unseemly and an affront to the entire idea of democracy and equality amongst all people. - Azmi Sharom"


Monopolies are an encumbrance to economic growth and discourage competition. Allowing big companies to monopolise goods and services gives them the power to impose exorbitant and burdensome price increases. Monopolies impede competition and narrow the space for new businessmen and entrepreneurs to grow.

Pakatan Rakyat economic policy will focus on breaking up monopolies and encouraging competition. It will lower the price of goods from burdensome levels and build a resilient national economy that will produce many successful new entrepreneurs.

Establish an Anti-Monopoly Commission and amend existing laws relating to competition to have more power to stop unfair business practices
Establish a Public Contracts Commission to evaluate and act as arbitrator to ensure that all agreements between the government and private sectors are not biased or unfavourable to the people
Dissolve 1MDB so that Khazanah remains the only state investment body
Disposal and handover of government holdings in government-linked companies (GLCs) which are not involved in businesses of national importance. This will be done via management buy-out (MBO), with
the objective of producing more viable Bumiputera entrepreneurs
Break up monopolies in communications, essential foods, pharmaceuticals, civil aviation and other key sectors
Restructure unfair independent power producer (IPP) agreements to stop the enrichment of cronies via public funds
Restructure the role of Ekuinas so that the agency assists in the takeover of GLCs by the management and qualified entrepreneurs
Ensure overall implementation of procurement by open tender in the 
management of public entities

1.  Alleviating the burdensome cost of living by        abolishing monopolies and reducing prices
2.  Restructuring automotive policy to reduce the people’s burden
3.  A ordable and comfortable housing for all
4.  Free education for all, abolishing PTPTN
5.  Abolishing AES, revoke AES summonses
6.  Justice for Felda settlers
7.  People’s safety
8.  Ensuring free basic health access
9.  Building a social safety network

As promised in the Orange Book (Buku Jingga), Pakatan Rakyat will take over the highways with the intention of gradually abolishing tolls. The financing of the highway operations will be accommodated by using the RM5 billion fund that has been paid as compensation to the concessionaires. Abolishing tolls will help to reduce the price of goods

Monopolies held by several cronies linked with the present ruling party have allowed them to control product prices. As a result, monopolies have become 
the main cause of why product prices are rising in the country. Monopolies exist in many key sectors – from telecommunications to ASTRO, from rice prices to sugar prices. Pakatan Rakyat will abolish these monopolies to 
increase competition such that lower product prices will result.

The ratio of car prices in Malaysia to average household income is one of the highest in the world. The lack of effective public transport facilities gives the people no choice but to buy their own cars.  As a result, car debts are the main financial burden incurred by every household. Every month a large portion of their income goes to servicing their car loan installments. To reduce the people’s burden and increase their disposable income, Pakatan Rakyat will 
restructure automotive policy as follows:

Car excise tax that is currently being levied is at an excessive 70 %, resulting in high car prices. Car excise prices will be lowered in stages with the 
intention of abolishing it in 5 years’ time in order that car prices can be more competitive.

150,000 affordable homes in the low-cost category (below RM75,000) and medium-cost category (between RM150,000 and RM250,000) will be built 
in the first term of the Pakatan Rakyat administration. A National Housing Corporation (PPN) will be established as the primary agency to build, regulate 
and develop affordable housing. PPN will be responsible for building houses for the people in order to balance the private sector’s exorbitant 
housing prices.

It will ensure the sustainability of the national housing industry by ensuring fairness to the buyers and developers, including implementing the ‘build and 
sell’ concept more extensively. 

Pakatan Rakyat will invest RM 5 billion in the first year to build affordable housing, followed by RM 2 billion funding every year from the second to fifth year.

Liberalising the national automotive industry will increase its competitiveness and add value for people. Pakatan Rakyat believes that a truly competitive 
automotive industry can produce cars priced as low as RM 25,000.

Pakatan Rakyat will defend the dignity, performance and reputation of FELDA to ensure the economic position and land ownership of the settlers. This includes restructuring all ownership in Felda Global Ventures (FGV) with the aim of returning operation and ownership of FELDA land to the settlers and staff. FELDA settlers’ contribution to the country’s wellbeing is immense. Palm oil revenue will be used to fund other development projects.  Therefore, FELDA settlers are entitled to receive a fair and higher proportion of revenue sharing.

Settlers are not paid their real income through manipulation of the Grade Extraction Rate (GER) by FELDA. Pakatan Rakyat will review all compensation 
claims as a result of the GER manipulation and pay appropriate compensation to affected FELDA settlers.

"I have said many times in the past that a clean electoral system is a diffuser of political chaos. When people feel that a party has won or lost fair and square, there is no need to take to the streets. There is after all the next time an election is called and you can make changes then. It is only in the face of a brutal and unfair system that anger spills over. It happened in the Philippines, in Indonesia, in Egypt and many other places where people felt they either had no voice or their voice had been disregarded by a flawed and corrupt election. A government that truly respects democracy understands this.They will be willing to lose an election in the hope and expectation that they will be able to fight another day and win back the power they lost if they have the right ideas. They will also understand that a lasting peace depends on a sound democracy. Only a government that is totally obtuse and totally uncaring about anything else except their own precarious clutch on power will fail to realise the importance of a fair electoral system. - Azmi Sharom"

The rapid increase in crimes throughout the country, whether in urban or rural areas, with victims of young and old, illustrates the immense failure of the policing system we have today. Pakatan Rakyat is determined to return the police personnels’ focus and responsibility to protecting the people and solving crime. This will restore the position and respect of the Royal Police Force of Malaysia (PDRM) in the eyes of the people.

The following measures will be implemented to restore the dignity of  police personnels and to protect the public:
Aim to increase police personnels’ remuneration by 15% in stages through manpower rationalisation and resource reallocation from non-core duties to core duties of crime solving and ensuring people’s safety;
Rationalising manpower and resource allocation will involve transferring and retraining of personnel in order to increase personnel strength of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), including reducing the size of General Task Force (PGA) and other non-core task forces; 
Additional allocation of RM 50 million a year to build police posts in places of high public concentration;
Extra allocation of RM 200 million a year to increase PDRM’s capabilities and effectiveness in forensic investigation.

1.  Reforming Islamic and religious institutions
2.  New remuneration and service packages for civil servants
3.  Clean, fair and transparent elections
4.  Reforming the judiciary, Attorney General's Chambers, MACC and PDRM
5.  Reforming Parliament
6.  Media freedom and restoring trust in media practitioners
7.  Abolishing UUCA and ensuring academic freedom
8.  Abolishing all anti-people laws
9.  Corruption Elimination Policy (DEBARAN)

The war on corruption is at the centre of Pakatan Rakyat’s struggle. The Pakatan Rakyat administration will introduce the Corruption Elimination Policy (DEBARAN) with an integrated approach that is incisive and specific in order to eliminate corruption.

DEBARAN is based on two major principles, namely empowering MACC fully through leadership and administrative reforms so that it will earn the respect of the people and amending current legislations to enhance its effectiveness in combating corruption. For this purpose, through DEBARAN the Pakatan Rakyat administration will:

Restructure MACC’s power and leadership in order to rebuild its integrity in the people’s eyes which may include giving MACC the power to prosecute
Restructure the practices and processes of MACC to focus on investigation and prosecution towards big corruption cases that involve the public interest in order to dispel the perception that MACC only concentrates on small cases whilst being lenient on the big cases
Tighten corruption-related legislation (including the Whistleblower Protection Act) to firmly implement anti-corruption laws that can tackle  significant corruption cases that involve the public interest

"Only when we have people in power, and by this I mean the legislature, executive and judiciary,  who have the aspiration of protecting rights as far as possible; who believe that human rights are an ideal, not an imposition on governments; and who have the conviction to live and make decisions according to these principles; only then can the Asean Human Rights Declaration have any meaning. Maybe I am not being pragmatic; perhaps the thin air in my ivory tower has made me light headed and foolish; but I don’t care, because the alternative to living without aspirations, ideals and principles is not worth contemplating. - Azmi Sharom"