Pakatan Harapan has come up with very thoughtful and well-researched action plans in place of the election manifesto and with people like Razifi Ramli behind the drive, it is highly that these action plans will not be half-cooked, unrealistic promises by the previous Pakatan Harapan Government under Dr. M. Image source: Kita Boleh
Read these first:-
- Elections 101: Some New & Positive Development for Pakatan Harapan
- Governance 101: Forming A Powerful Pakatan Rakyat’s Shadow Cabinet
- Economy 101: Pakistan & Sri Lanka Economy Screwed By Dumb Policies & Mismanagement
- Malaysia 101: Bold Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz Shoots Down National Recovery Plan
- Malaysia 101: How Realistic is the National Unity Blueprint 2021-2030?
Objective & Aspiration
Pakatan Harapan’s Action Plan outlines the core objectives that they intend to deliver once they are voted to be the Government and targets to achieve the following goals:
- Safeguard the welfare of the people by generating balanced and sustainable economic growth to protect the people’s holistic well-being.
- Govern with integrity by restoring confidence and fostering trust between the people and the government.
- Prepare the nation to face the future by empowering the people in facing whatever challenges will arise in the future such as climate change, racial unity, education reform, and so on.
The core objective of Pakatan Harapan’s Action Plan covers the following areas of society and how each challenge within each area will be addressed through specific action plans:-
- Managing Cost of Living
- Combating Corruption and Strengthening Democracy
- Empowering Youth’s Economic Opportunities and Exploring Humanity Sectors (Green, Agro, Creative, TVET – skill-based jobs)
- Saving the Lost Generation in Education
- Building Disaster Mitigation Measures and Enhancing Protection for the Rakyat (Up to RM50,000 assistance to all affected homes)
- Addressing the Issue of Contract Doctors and Provide Robust Welfare for Healthcare Workers
- Eliminating Gender Inequality & Enhancing Women’s Socioeconomic Participation
- Empowering the Regions of Sabah and Sarawak
- Improving the Competitiveness of All Malaysians Especially Vulnerable Groups
- Preserving the Environment for Our Future Generations
You can download the English version here and the Bahasa Malaysia version here
Action Plan Key Salient Points
Note: Pakatan Harapan’s list of action plans covers almost 40 key areas of society and nation but only some of the salient action plans are covered below. Please download the full document for the complete list of action plans.
A substantial toll hike & huge subsidies do not make sense as the number of vehicles keeps increasing and yet the toll operator claims huge losses and thus justifying the toll hike. The problem is the lopsided toll concessionaire agreement which does not allow adjustments based on actual situations and room for directions from the government. Image source: Compare Hero.my
Addressing Cost of Living Issues
Providing ample incentives to increase the production of food and basic essentials. This is a long-term solution to alleviate market pressures caused by rising prices. With higher production, costs can be brought down.
Reviewing Highway Concessions
The HARAPAN administration has shown commitment in reviewing all highway concession agreements and negotiating to get the best prices, leading to toll rates being reduced by 18% for the North-South Expressway (PLUS) and the East-Coast Expressway Phase 2 (LPT 2).
HARAPAN is determined to continue reducing PLUS tolls gradually with the ultimate goal of eliminating tolls and returning PLUS highway to public ownership
Ensuring Food Security
Whether one likes this or not, this specific action plan will be one of the most critical action plans that Malaysia will need to execute with immediate effect considering climate change and the impact of global suppliers around the world due to government restrictions and wars.
Modern and Smart Farming
Increasing and encouraging the use of technology in the agricultural sector by providing grants or accessible loans. Supporting research and development (R&D) efforts in the farm and agro-food sectors, on top of boosting the commercialisation of research products.
Attracting Investors and Young Agropreneurs
Facilitating tax exemptions for investments in the farming sector, whether for companies or small-scale farmers. Enhancing Young Agropreneur Program (Program Agropreneur Muda) and talent-matching programmes to help youths that are interested in the modern farming sectors.
We can address poverty at every level. By using the approach of providing micro-credit via fund injection for Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia and Yayasan Usaha Maju, we can provide opportunities for vulnerable demographics to participate in economic opportunities and free themselves from the vicious poverty cycle.
No One Left Behind
Partnering with every Member of Parliament to identify excluded communities in all federal-level poverty eradication programmes such as “MySalam” and “Program Kasih Suri Malaysia”.
Safe Space and Community Kitchen
The biggest challenge faced by those struggling in urban poverty, especially single parents, is finding a safe space for their children outside of school hours.
HARAPAN will work together with non-government organisations (NGO) to provide safe spaces for children to learn and socialise. Community Kitchens will also be set up to prepare food for children and help impoverished families.
Discrimination especially by race & religion is not only limited to work but is also very prominent in housing & tourism where the owner of the property is deciding on their tenants based on race, especially Indian Malaysians. This needs to be changed as personal characters cannot be decided by on certain race or religion only. Image source: SAYS
Strengthening Worker Protection
Minimum Wage Policy
A structured minimum wage policy plan to achieve the status of a high-income nation. This plan must be executed with proper support to ensure that every stakeholder is adequately prepared.
Overcoming Discriminatory Obstacles
To build a united Malaysia, we must eliminate all obstructions caused by discrimination. This is not just limited to discrimination in the form of race, religion, gender, physical and mental ability, but must also include discrimination contributing to the gender wage gap.
HARAPAN Homes For The Rakyat
For Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) tenants, opportunities will be made available for them to transition into owners. This will ensure low-income earners will also be able to secure their own homes
100% Stamp Duty Exemption
HARAPAN will expand the 100% stamp duty exemption for first time homeowners for properties below RM500,000 to also cover subsale unit ownership.
New Economic Opportunities for Youths
Pioneer Scholarships (Biasiswa Perintis)
HARAPAN will also introduce Biasiswa Perintis and opportunities for upskilling targeted for those who are interested in delving into new economic fields such as the caregiving industry, modern farming, and green industry.
We can support growth in the entrepreneurial sector for youths by providing special funds, training programmes, and sector specific accelerator programmes for youths who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs.
Our Youth, Our Future
Kad Belia is an upgrade of Kad Siswa and will be used by youths between the ages of 13 to 25 years old. Card holders will be eligible to obtain promotions and discounts at selected businesses.
Kembara Siswa will be introduced to help students who wish to return to their hometown especially during festive seasons. Kembara Siswa will prepare tickets at a fixed price (RM199) for flights to Sabah or Sarawak from Peninsular Malaysia and vice versa. This will be limited to 2 tickets per year for each student.
Freedom of Activism
Guaranteeing freedom for youths to participate in activism and encouraging the establishment of social and welfare bodies, and public intellectual activities which are spearheaded by the youth.
Future-proofing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
‘Zero Reject Policy’
Implementing a policy of ‘No Discrimination, No Rejection’ for all registrations into the TVET system.
Facilitating School to Work transition programmes to produce more school pupils who are directly involved with the working world and provide them the opportunity to get more job opportunities with better pay based on skills.
One-Stop Caregiving Facilities
One Stop Caregiving Facilities will also be included in development requirements based on the ratio of the population, similar to how playgrounds and places of worship are part of development planning requirements.
For the urban poor and citizens in remote locations, strategic interventions will be carried out to streamline operations and coordination between agencies and primary public healthcare service institutions, volunteer caregivers, certified field caregivers, local authorities, and NGOs. This collaboration also extends to community leaders, academic institutions, private entities to normalise regular health check ups and mobile caregiving services.
A Brighter Future for Our Children
Universal Child Benefits
The issue of stunted growth among children in Malaysia is at a critical level and it has been reported to be worse than the rate of stunted children in Gaza and Iraq today.
The high price of milk has excluded many parents from providing milk and nutritional food in the first 1,000 days after the birth of their children. To solve this problem, every newborn will be given cash benefits that will be deposited monthly to the parents’ account up to the age of 6 years old.
Amending Article 15(2) to guarantee citizenship for any child born in Malaysia to either a Malaysian mother or father regardless of race and religion.
Article 14(1)(b) in the Constitution will also be amended to allow Malaysian mothers who give birth outside of Malaysia to confer citizenship to their children in parity with fathers who already possess the right to do so, and this will extensively benefit their children. Simultaneously, amendments will also be made to provide automatic citizenship to adopted children.
National Strategic Plan in Handling the Causes of Child Marriage 2025
It is commonly known that underage marriage exists in Malaysia, however not many are aware of its negative effects towards children, especially girls. To solve this issue, HARAPAN will resume efforts outlined in the National Strategic Plan in Handling Causes of Child Marriage 2025, as implemented in January 2020.
Empowering Women and Supporting Families
To overcome the practice of gender inequality that has caused various issues for women today, every Bill presented in Parliament will be guaranteed to possess gender inclusivity elements that are more impactful.
The current living situation for Malaysians is undoubtedly challenging and many women are making great sacrifices by working to acquire income for their families while also being tasked with raising young children. In response, childcare subsidies will be given to working women from the B40 and M40 categories.
Living Comfortably in Our Golden Years
Elderly Friendly Schemes
Formulating schemes that are elderly-friendly. This would encompass Jom Shopping vouchers worth RM100, funeral coverage worth RM1,000, and Jom Travel which will prepare free buses to help senior citizens visit local tourist destinations.
Free Public Transportation
Free public transportation rides for senior citizens, improving on the current policy of offering 50% discount.
Senior Citizens Act and Active Aging Policy
Enacting a Senior Citizens Act and emphasising the importance of Active Aging Policy.
Enhanced Support for Persons with Disability (PWD)
Appointment of PWD Commissioner in SUHAKAM
To protect the human rights of the PWDs, it is only appropriate that a PWD commissioner is appointed in the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM). This appointment will help champion their rights and combat against all forms of discrimination targeted towards them.
Special Allocation for PWD Education
To ensure that the PWD educational agenda is prioritised and facilitate improvement of the OKU education system in regards to delivery efficiency such as teachers’ training, providing infrastructure for classes, and increasing the number of classes, a special allocation for PWD Education will be provided.
With 1MDB, we probably have one of the biggest corruption scandals that saw an ex-Prime Minister shamelessly indulge himself and his family in a luxurious life with money stolen from the taxpayers. Any action plan to combat corruption must be enforced with a greater political will. Infographic source: The Malay Mail
Next to the action plans on food security, the action plan to combat corruption must be at the top of the action plan list in the fight against the mismanagement of the taxpayers’ money.
Corruption has been the source of most problems in this country and regrettably, corrupt politicians and public servants continue to indulge in corruption without any fear of the law. Any action plan to combat corruption must include overhaul of the system to avoid selective enforcement and in some cases, lack of enforcement,
MACC Chief Commissioner
Nomination of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner must be vetted by a bipartisan Parliamentary Special Committee. This will ensure the nomination of a truly neutral candidate who will not protect the interests of any specific party.
Asset declaration had already become a practice following GE14. HARAPAN intends to continue this practice for all ministers, Members of Parliament, senior civil servants, GLC chairmen, as well as all spouses and close family members aged 18 years old and above.
For quotation requests of supplies, the Ministry of Finance must maintain a list of supply costs that is updated every 6 months. For projects, the RFP system and open tenders will be carried out.
Direct negotiations will only be allowed for matters pertaining to national security but subject to the Special Committee which will be led by members from the opposition
Reinforcing Institutional Integrity
Separation of Power for Public Prosecutor – Attorney General
Separating the roles and responsibilities of Public Prosecutor from the Attorney General to reinforce the freedom of public prosecutors. The Attorney General only acts as the government’s legal advisor, while the Public Prosecutor decides on matters relating to prosecution.
Fixed Parliament Term Act
Looming uncertainty arising from endless speculation in regards to the sudden dissolution of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies (DUN) before the end of the 5-year term will negatively affect investor confidence and economic stability.
HARAPAN will introduce the Fixed Parliament Term Act to ensure that the dissolution of Parliament and DUN will only be called for at the end of the term to minimise political instability.
Defending Democracy and Promoting Free Speech
The action plan to boost MP’s debate quality is something new and indeed an interesting action plan to improve how national issues are debated and laws are made in the Parliament. For this, the powers of the Speaker to curtail any debates on national issues must be regulated.
Boosting MPs Debate Quality
Establishing a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) that will provide objective services to all Members of Parliament regardless of party for issues pertaining to estimated financial implication, or cost, policies and their policy recommendations.
This will improve the policy-making process and level the playing field by providing access to cost estimation services and other forms of analysis that is usually exclusively available to the government.
Solving the issue of malapportionment by implementing a deviation limit of 30% from the average population size of voting constituencies.
Protecting Media Freedom and Promoting Free Speech
Repealing Draconian Acts
Reviewing and repealing draconian provisions of acts that can be abused to restrict free speech such as the Sedition Act 1948, Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, and Printing Press and Publications Act 1984.
Freedom of Information Act
HARAPAN will introduce the Freedom of Information Act and limit the implementation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) except for matters that can potentially disrupt the safety of the nation. This classification must be decided by a Parliamentary Committee and not at the discretion of ministers.
5% in 5 Years
Increasing the Public Healthcare Expenditure to 5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 5 years in order to keep up with the national population growth, increase in lifespan, and current needs.
Expanding the coverage of the mySalam program to the M40 group. This program will cover critical illnesses and admission to hospital for coverage of health assessment and mental healthcare including counselling.
Hastening the amendment of Section 309 Penal Code to decriminalise suicide attempts. Those who are facing emotional and mental turmoil need to be supported by the community, not to be punished.
Broadening Internet Access
When it comes to the action plan to improve internet access throughout the country and all levels of society, there must be a corresponding action plan to allow more freedom of speech together with an action plan to dismantle the draconian laws that restrict public criticisms against the government and the government agencies.
Eradicating Internet Poverty
The urban-rural digital gap is very clear. In fact, even access to high quality internet services in most urban communities in Malaysia are inconsistent.
Our primary commitment is to broaden high speed internet penetration to the entirety of Malaysia so that internet poverty can be eradicated. Universal coverage and quality of service must be prioritised above all others.
Malaysia has a well-integrated public transport system to some extent and it is not well-connected to most Malaysians. The largest beneficiary of cheap public transport is foreign workers. We need a more comprehensive action plan to improve the connectivity between the various hubs so that travel time is greatly reduced. Image source: Google
Enhancing Public Transport Connectivity
Ease of Access, Ease of Travel
We must ensure that public transportation is not only accessible but also properly equipped and innovative to allow users to easily reach their destinations. This includes making sure that 80% of urban areas will have bus stops and train stations within 10 minutes of walking.
The waiting period for any public transportation services, especially buses, should not be more than 10 minutes. To fulfil these requirements, we will need 10,000 buses for cities throughout Malaysia and 7,000 will operate within Klang Valley.
Expanding Payment Methods
Expanding payment methods to include debit cards and e-wallets compared to the current system of only allowing Touch N’ Go.
It is prudent that the action plans that Pakatan Harapan targets to deliver once they have taken the rein power of the Federal Government is rightfully called Action Plan and not election promise or election manifesto. Dr. M who headed the 2018 Pakatan Harapan Government had unfortunately made a big blunder by dismissing Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto as something unachievable.
These action plans are ideals that should have been executed a long time ago in a progressive, multi-racial country like Malaysia. Often each of the ruling politicians has promised similar action plans in their manifesto only to find it to be derailed on purpose or due to the lack of willpower to make actual changes. It is high hope that Pakatan’s action plans will translate to actual changes.
The remaining of Pakatan Harapan’s action plan list will be continued in Part 2