After Buku Harapan, #UndiRosak most valid option
By Hafidz Baharom
After reading the so-called Book of Hope marketed by Pakatan Harapan as their manifesto for the upcoming general election, I have to say that it leaves us truly no choice other than to spoil our votes.
Protect environment with cars and petrol?
Why does Pakatan still want to subsidise cars and petrol, whilst also promising to purchase 10,000 buses to better public transport nationwide?
As the party so gung-ho to promote environmental policy to the point of ridiculing free plastic bags, isn’t this coalition doing something rather hypocritical by promising cheaper, excise duty exempted cars and subsidised petrol?
Plus, within this “promise” lies the greatest con of all – what cars would actually qualify for the so-called subsidised petrol, being set at under 1300CC?
Well, an off the top search shows that the only local car that would qualify would be the Perodua Axia and below. Anyone with a Proton Iriz and above, sorry – you’re not going to get cheaper petrol.
10,000 buses, no BRTs?
Plus, can Pakatan explain how going on an Oprah Winfrey spree of “You all get a car”, will affect traffic in city centres for their 10,000 buses?
The roads will be congested so badly that even with such a massive number of buses makes no difference. The schedules would still be delayed due to traffic. Sadly, the Bus Rapid Transits (BRTs) did not make its way into the manifesto to actually make 10,000 buses make sense.
Don’t pay for education, buy a car first?
But more to the point, Pakatan is keen on removing PTPTN loans from impacting individual credit scores for non-payment. In fact, Pakatan goes so far as to even exempt payment for degrees and diplomas until Malaysians earn a gross salary of RM4,000.
And yet, no such limit is being advocated for car ownership. So, does Pakatan want every family and young household to start off with a car loan rather than pay forward the education of the next batch of students in universities?
Buy a house, even if you can’t afford one?
This is the same contradicting stance that Pakatan repeats when dealing with housing as well, by promising to get banks to somehow allow Malaysians to take loans to buy a home.
Do we really believe that banks are not calculating the risks on loan properly to the point of failing to issue out loans for homes to people, or is it because people don’t have enough income?
If it is the latter, what’s the point of talking to the banks, while not addressing the employers to raise salaries to the point of being able to afford a proper lifestyle?
Builders be lenders?
At the same time, there are plenty of questions on just what Pakatan is planning to do to achieve their manifesto promises. For example, the Rent-To-Own scheme by Pakatan will involve private developers as well as banks.
Does this mean that Pakatan will be getting BNM to grant a financial license to every single developer so that they can conduct this programme and even become money lenders?
Pay private healthcare, screw the public system
Now, this one just doesn’t make sense to me. Why is Pakatan insisting on helping private healthcare professionals, instead of developing more public clinics under the Ministry of Health?
Instead of actually building more clinics where you can get triage and primary treatment of ails for a mere RM1 under government subsidies, Pakatan is advocating giving out RM500 in a card for medical expenses to every B40 household – 2.68 million households.
This means that after actually reserving 4% GDP for healthcare, they want to spend about a billion ringgit to be handed out to the private sector?
Why not just build or even buy out private clinics to strengthen the public system, while also increasing salaries to match the private sector?
Where’s the money from?
One of the main grouses of this current Opposition coalition has always been that we need to reduce household debt and government debt – and their excuse has always been there isn’t enough money because the government is bloated.
And yet, they do not ever mention firing the civil service.
Instead, there will be a capping of only 3 ministers under the Prime Minister’s Office to reduce cost of governance – what are the other two, other than the MP made Minister of Law which will also be the Attorney General (also mentioned in the Buku Harapan)?
And with a switch from the GST to SST once again, as well as the excise duty exemption for the first car of each household, how much tax revenue are we looking at cutting down compared to the PMO reduction?
There is also an increased amount of money being dished out to committees and councils which don’t even mention costs. How much will the petrol subsidy cost on a monthly basis. Let’s not forget that they will still be giving out BR1M.
So, will we then see more income taxes to make this balance out? Perhaps even new taxes on capital gains and inheritance, which was mentioned in their Shadow Budget last year?
In fact, what are their targets in debt reduction for both government and household?