Friday, December 24, 2010

'Instant reforms' pledge riles up BN leaders

Pakatan Rakyat’s pledge for instant reforms in the event it comes to power at the Federal level has generated a litany of responses from Barisan Nasional leaders, most of whom dismissed the list of reforms as unrealistic.

Both prime minister Najib Razak and his deputy Muhiyiddin Yassin had come out separately with statements deriding the pledge which was outlined during PR's convention last Sunday.

Najib was quoted as saying that PR’s statements were unrealistic and made without any consideration of their ability to govern.

Muhyiddin on the other hand suggested a PR-led government would squander the nation's wealth.

“Pakatan can promise the sun, moon, stars and mountains... But that is not the way of the BN government. We cannot squander our nation's wealth.

“For BN, the prime minister has already a long road map for a high-income nation. But Pakatan only has plans for their first 100 days. They have absolutely no plans to reform the economy or anything," said Muhyiddin.

The remarks about 'wastage' surprised PAS information chief Idris Ahmad (left).

“It is ironic that UMNO-BN leaders accuse us of squandering wealth,” he told in a statement to Harakahdaily, and referred to the controversial multi-billion project announced by Najib during the last budget for a 100-storey tower.

Idris added the comments from BN leaders "smacked of hypocrisy" in view of their past actions, saying they considered projects beneficial to people as wastage.

“All the projects which are beneficial to the people are considered wastage like the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor state government's policy of giving 20 cubic metresof free water to the people.

"When Najib Tun Razak wants to build the 100 storey Menara Warisan tower, it is not considered wasteful. For the children and cronies, it is not a waste,” said Idris.

Ten instant reforms

Idris also took to task deputy Education minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi for saying that the instant reforms promise was "a political drama" to cover up PR's failure.

"Did not BN leaders promised the people on November 3, 2010 that there would be no more increase in oil price, at least until year end, but on December 3, the price of RON95 went up by 5 sen?” he asked.

He said in contrast, PR states, in spite of their financial limitation, were trying to fulfill their manifesto.

Last weekend, Pakatan Rakyat parties dished out what is known as instant reforms which would be implemented in the first 100 days after winning the general election.

They include:
1. Restructure of institutions including the Elections Commission (EC), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Royal Malaysian Police.
2. Repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA)
3. Take over of tolled highway so that tolls can be abolished
4. Restructure of the country’s subsidies, including transferring gas subsidies to private power producers to the public at large
5. Revamp the salary scale of civil servants and increasing teachers' salary by RM500 a month
6. Transferring private water concessions to the government
7. Free wireless Internet access to those in urban and semi-urban areas
8. Cancelling Felda plantations and opening up its farms to second- and third generation Felda settlers
9. Increasing oil royalty payments to Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kelantan from 5 percent to 20 per cent, and
10. Formation of a Royal Commission to solve the problem of illegal immigrants and citizenship issues in Sabah and Sarawak.