Choon Mei Wong
PETALING JAYA: A political analyst has cautioned the public against expecting Pakatan Harapan (PH) to deliver on all of its election promises now that it is part of a unity government.
Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said such an expectation would be unfair to PH since the government included Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah.
“It’s going to be difficult for PH to fulfil 100% of its 10-point manifesto because it has to deal with three other coalitions too,” he told FMT.
“PH has to deal with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 issue for the Borneo states and also BN’s promise of certain goodies for civil servants as well as the strategies contained in the budget for 2023.”
Budget 2023 was tabled on Oct 7 with a total allocation of RM372.3 billion. Parliament was dissolved three days later, leading to the 15th general election.
Azmi also said he did not see reforms such as the abolition of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) being realised, noting that the eagerness to repeal it had “disappeared”.
Last July the Dewan Rakyat, after a fiery debate, approved the extension of a provision allowing a 28-day detention under Sosma.
However, Azmi said he believed BN and PH would be of one mind on the independence of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Election Commission.
He also said PH’s pledge for a leaner cabinet would be realised, adding that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim could cut by up to half the number of ministers from the previous administration.
“This will be an efficient cabinet as it will be composed of MPs who can deliver on their respective roles,” he said. “It will be a respectable cabinet that can work with civic societies and the public.”
Another analyst, Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya, said the unity government would need to choose the best features of the different blocs’ manifestos for implementation.
“However, all of this will need to be discussed at the party level first,” he said.
He also said the general public and civic groups should manage their expectations and assess what the unity government offered.
Anwar leads a unity government composed of PH, BN, GPS and GRS with support from MPs from Muda, Warisan, Parti Bangsa Malaysia and independents.
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