What’s Best for Pakatan Harapan’s GE14 Manifesto

It had been more than four months after GE14 concludes. From the Pakatan Harapan’s election promises, only the main issues, such as the GST tax, 1MDB’s scandal, and the costs of living, are still in people’s mind, but the rest of the details, as they say, are already buried in the past. Society is myopic and people are mostly worried about what they are facing daily – their bread and butter. Politics is not their bread and butter.

Election promises are within the domain of politics, and Malaysia, like elsewhere in the world, the promises made during the campaign, is important to get parties to win an election. However, post winning is another subject and domain totally. Almost everywhere, what matters to people is what the parties do after winning. The people even forget and forgive if the promises are not entertained or fulfilled. But they would not forgive if the party failed to deliver their basic needs, even though it wasn’t part of what had been promised.

In the system of democracy that we adopt, we could term this phenomenon as the five-yearly social-political “contract” between the winning parties (which formed the government) and the electorate. As in any contract, what matters are not the details of the contract itself, but rather, the main intent and core deliverables.

Given that PH had won resoundingly, and people’s mandate to PH is clear, I would call for PH to review and restate its contract, vis-a-vis, promises to the electorate with the people, in clear and concise terms. They could call this “major policies undertakings”. Efforts must then be made to explain and communicate these major policies to the public, through government channels, media channels, as well as directly to the electorate.

There is nothing wrong, or even taboo for such a bold approach. In fact, it should be encouraged and lauded as appropriate and proper things to do, moving forward.

This is the better and much novel way rather than resorting to blame game and keep on harping on mistakes of the past administration. People care about what’s new, what improvements, not just rhetorics and replacement of guards at the helms.

So far, Tan Sri Rafidah sounded right (during Megatrends conference), for asking PH to admit that their GE14 manifesto was defective; just admit it and push the new agenda forward, without fear of being attacked by the opposition. The audience is not the political parties, but the people.

It is time for PH to take this bold move, for the sake of the people.





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