February 25, 2013
Pakatan Rakyat stays ahead with GE-13 Manifesto
Pakatan Rakyat has headed off BN by announcing the coalition’s election pledges first for the 13th general election today.
The document, dubbed ‘The People’s Pact, The People’s Hope’, appears to expand on the three parties’ common policies outlined in their Buku Jingga document. Pakatan’s manifesto is available in six languages and can be downloaded from the coalition’s official website. A list of top 10 issues raised, as chosen by Malaysiakini, follows:
1. Shutting down the Lynas plant
As part of the coalition’s environmental sustainability policy, Pakatan pledges to stop the Lynas rare earth refinery in Gebeng, Pahang. “Environmental sustainability is a hallmark of Pakatan’s economic policy,” read the document.
Additionally, Pakatan promised to review the oil refinery project in Pengerang, Johor; halt the construction of damaging dams in Sarawak and reform logging laws.
2. Abolishing the AES
Pakatan argues that the automated enforcement system (AES) for traffic offences has endangered lives and enriched cronies, and thus will be immediately stopped. “Any summonses issued will be rescinded.”
In place of the AES, Pakatan pledges to emphasise on safer road infrastructure, education for road users and warning measures instead of the current punitive approach.
3. Putting the brakes on healthcare tax
Pakatan promises to provide free basic healthcare and thus will stop longstanding plans to introduce a healthcare tax, which the Najib Abdul Razak Administration has dubbed the 1Care system.
4. Promoting media freedom
The coalition says it will abolish all legislation that restrict media freedom, including the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA). Additionally, it seeks to corporatise RTM and ensure all media organisations practice “media freedom with integrity”.
5. Freeing all ISA detainees
Apart from a thorough review of all legislation which are in conflict with principles of “justice for LL and freedom of the people”, Pakatan promises that its administration will apologise to all Internal Security Act detainees from the past to the present.This is to be undertaken within the first year.
6. Affordable housing
Pakatan says it will build 150,000 affordable homes in the low-cost category (below RM75,000) and medium-cost category (below RM250,000) within its first term. It will also establish a National Housing Corporation to build, regulate and develop affordable housing.
To deal with rising crime, Pakatan says it will reallocate human resources to increase the size of the Criminal Investigation Department by reducing the General Operations Force and other non-core task personnel. Additionally, Pakatan says it will increase remuneration by 15 percent in stages.
8. Free education, abolishing PTPTN
Describing education as the people’s right and the government’s responsibility, Pakatan says its administration will bear tertiary education fees and subsidise fees in private institutions. Additionally, it will provide cost of living allowances for students of public institutions in need and abolish the National Higher Education Loan Fund (PTPTN), which the coalition blamed for a rapidly expanding private education industry.
“PTPTN will not be needed when higher education is provided for free to the people.A specific mechanism to overcome the students’ debt dependency due to PTPTN will be introduced to ensure that every student’s welfare will be taken care of,”the document states.
9. Lowering fuel, electricity and water charges
Pakatan’s manifesto argues that the country’s oil revenue should be shared with the people in the form of cheaper fuel prices. As for electricity, Pakatan argues that the country loses RM25 billion annually in the form of gas subsidies to independent power producers, a sum which the coalition wants to channel to the people by reducing their electricity bills.
On highway toll charges, Pakatan promises to take over the nation’s highways, with the “intention” of “gradually” abolishing toll charges.Pakatan said that these policies, including reducing water tariffs, will help reduce the cost of living.
10. Reducing foreign workers by 1 million
Pakatan said it will introduce a “comprehensive package” to ensure the removal of one million foreign workers within five years to allow locals to take up the jobs.