Monday, January 15, 2018

ELECTION MANIFESTO - Vague pronouncement or Detailed Commitments?

MANIFESTO - What is the Opposition Parties' Manifesto for the Upcoming Elections? It must be comprehensive dealing with a variety of issues - it must not be simply 'slogans' that are vague with no specific details... ( the way, the Pakatan Harapan has still not issued their Manifesto ...that's why we cannot find it on the internet)

In Malaysia, as some political parties come together to form a 'COALITION' or even an 'Electoral Pact' - it is important that there is NOW an agreement with regard to many issues...

The problem with the previous 'Pakatan Rakyat' seemed to be that after the elections, the running and administration of the various states won by the Pakatan Rakyat seem to have been left just to the Menteri Besar/Chief Minister that was elected - and problems emerged as some states like Kedah(under a PAS MB) seems to have simply done many things including policies that swayed from what PR, or the parties in it, pronounced...and stood for. So, how do we ensure that this does not happen again...

We need a detailed Manifesto ...not simply something vague just about 1MDB, FELDA, etc... 

Will the Opposition when they win, investigate and take action against members of the previous government, their cronies and even public servants who did wrong ...or will it be simply 'Forgive' and move on...Where was the EXPOSE and the prosecution ...when the Opposition won in Penang and Selangor....?

Malaysians are not stupid – we demand detailed assurances  by the Opposition coalition, Opposition parties and other political parties  in their Election Manifestos…

Detention Without Trial Laws – POCA, POTA, DD(SPM)A. Will the Detention Without Trial Laws be immediately abolished, and the current victims be immediately released? When? Well, it should be done within 100 days…Some argue, that some of these people may be guilty of a crime – well, then charge them and try them in an OPEN COURT. Remember that even preparing or instigating a crime is already an offence in the Penal Code…and they could be charged, tried and convicted if proven guilty.

Freedom of Expression, Opinion,…. Abolish Sedition Act… Abolish laws that undermine these Freedoms

– Local Council Elections…within 100 days. 
- Senators to be elected by the people …so Senatorial Elections…
- Elections of local community leaders by the community – kampong, kampong orang asli, Taman, …All these can be done in 100 days …Government will deal with matters concerning these communities through the Elected representatives
[*An elected MP and/or ADUN, whether they wre in the party/ies governing the State or not, will be accorded a right to sit in Local Councils as an Observer, with a right to be heard...which is logical since he/she is the elected peoples' representative]

HEALTHCARE – Now, Malaysians are still paying for healthcare …Most obvious is heart healthcare …Now, the IJN(Institute Jantung Negara) charges tens of thousands ringgit….if you are not a public servant or a government pensioner – so, it affects all other Malaysians. Immediate policy could be no more than RM1,000 for any healthcare procedure….ultimately, this should be FREE

EDUCATION – one thing could be FREE education until higher education – not just University…but also vocational, technical and other forms of higher education. FREE education in ALL government schools, colleges, universities and other institutions of higher education…We cannot force this policy of ‘free education’ on private companies yet…but this may come later…

Companies – Government Owned(or Linked) – Immediately the requirement that they will have to be audited by the Federal/State Auditor General, who will have to present the said report to Parliament/State Legislative Assembly ….Now, this is not about just presenting Audited Accounts(but more importantly the Auditor General’s REPORT about actions that have ‘wasted monies’ and other wrongs. (Petaling Jaya Local Council discloses only the audited accounts BUT not the report of mismanagement, loss of monies, questionable transaction)… The continued monitoring by Parliamen/State Legislative Assembly Select Committees of GLCs….It is after all the company of the Malaysian people and profits should flow back to government for the benefit of ALL Malaysians.

Companies – Government Owned(or Linked)Salary and allowances for Directors, etc …wrong if they are being paid too high a salary or allowance…the maximum’s should be fixed…maybe same as public servant salary scale…but certainly not higher than the pay of the Prime Minister or a Menteri Besar. The more you pay the less the profits of these companies – hence, the lesser profits for the people of Malaysia. List of Government-Owned/Linked Company should be provided, together with list of major shareholders, and profits made by these companies that flowed back to Malaysian people…No ADUN, MP, Senator, Public Servant should be paid allowances as Directors – that monies must go back to the government not to them personally, save for maybe transport allowances and such – WHY? They are already PAID public servants be it MPs, Senators, ADUNs and/or public servants.

FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY Repeal of the Peaceful Assembly Act and provisions in other Acts likes Universities and University Colleges Act that require application of permits/licences/permissions…before people can exercise their right to peaceful assembly…Police duty shall be to ensure that this right is exercised uninhibited…

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION – The government shall only act if the Society or Trade Union commits a crime – it shall no more control the objective, running and/or other actions of a Society. Society/Trade Union/Cooperative .Registration will be done fast, not later than two(2) weeks. Now, even when members agree to amend Constitution, it does not come into force until the Registrar of Society(or Registrar of Trade Union) approves it – WHY? Even if members want to increase membership and/or other fees payable by members, it cannot be implemented until the ‘Registrar’ approves – WHY? If members have an issue with the society/Trade Union/…, then they can take action …the REGISTRAR(or government) should not act on its own. Example, if DAP members questioned the validity of an elections, then the members will take the issue to court for a determination whether election valid or void – not the Registrar. Control of the GOVERNMENT in the running of any association will be removed…the power is returned to MEMBERS and members only…

Public Transport – Licensing will not be denied…Now, the licensing of bus services are controlled by the Federal Government – so much so, even State government have no power in approving application for town bus services and/or even bus services within the State. Licensing of public transport services will be liberalised, and the power will be given to the State and/or Local Council, if the services are for the people of the said Local Council and/or State whether the services extend beyond the Local Council/State boundaries. Public transport will be kept affordable, and the government will provide subsidies and/or provide the services themselves, if need be. Metered taxi services will be made available all over Malaysia, with a phone in capability to get a taxi – and the government shall fix the rates(at least the maximum rates)…Maybe, like the 999 call in service for police/fire department - we should have a number for people to call in to get a taxi(Government could set up and run this service especially since it is now not not practical for taxi services operating in small towns and rural areas to do it themselves...)

Radio/Television/Newspapers/Magazines Licenses will be given freely – and actions will be taken only if a crime is committed. Now, the Opposition also do not have a radio station or a television station…preventing the people from getting access to alternative views and opinions. It is embarassing. Malaysians should have the right to information - including different views and opinions. Our radio station generally give us songs and music - good if we had stations that give us knowledge about rights, and discussion of issues...Do we want Malaysians who are aware and 'educated' about different views and options...?

SPORTS – There will be PUBLIC football fields, basketball courts, squash, swimming pools that are free or with minimum charges built in every district in Malaysia. Now, there are very few such fields and sports facilities for the public in most towns in Malaysia. Most sport facilities are in schools ...we need public sport facilities, which people can use in every town in Malaysia??

STATE – FEDERAL – Power now rests too much with the Federal Government especially in the Peninsular. One problem is the INCOME available to State governments to provide for development and maintenance of facilities within the State including even roads, etc… Law will be amended, to allow State governments to get a fixed portion of income and corporate taxes collected in Malaysia, whereby one solution will be the allocation of a certain percentage of taxes to the States based on the population, which could be at least 25% of Federal ipersonal and corporate income tax collected. Similarly, 25% of monies collected by Local Council will also be allocated to the State coffers.

GRASS CUTTING AND GARBAGE COLLECTION – It was before done by Local Council, but now UMNO-BN seemed to have shifted control to the Federal Government, who has the power to choose and appoint contractors. This power shall be reverted back to Local Councils. What is the rate of payment of cutting grass  beside the road for 1 Km per month? Some said that it may be about RM2k? Well, if that contract could be given to kampung committees and town committees...who could use the poor in the community - would it not effectively solve income problems of the poor? Local government could simply monitor...

Barangan Rakyat 1Malaysia -  Good policy to ensure availability of AFFORDABLE basic food and related matters to ensure availability of such items to especially to the poorer Malaysians - But UMNO-BN implementation policy was wrong...when such products could only be got from these KEDAI R1M?  Government will ensure availability of such products including rice, floor, cooking oil, cooking gas, salt, soap, toothpaste, cleaning fluids/poweders, eggs, bread....These items shall be produced by the Government and made available to ALL retailers, including small shops through government suppliers at a reasonable rate ...who will then be able to sell to the consumer at the stipulated price. [Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia will be abolished]

The government will RESTORE and expand the list of permanent Price Controlled Items including chicken, certain fish, fish cakes, vegetables, etc (which the UMNO-BN government has removed). The government will fix the cost imposed by suppliers to final retailers as well to ensure that the final retailer still enjoys a reasonable profit. Suppliers shall be BOUND to supply such items to all retailers - and not deny supply for whatever reason.

KLINIK Rakyat 1Malaysia - Government will ensure that there are government clinics with DOCTORS providing 24 hour service to all people, not more than than 50 Km in rural areas, and not more than 10 Km in urban centres, that will be able to provide healthcare. Currently, these UMNO-BN government clinics only have a medical assistant manning it, with the ability to not even provide required emergency healthcare. Some of these UMNO-BN government clinics that are within 10-20 Km from government hospitals will be shut down. Ambulances will be made available to transport people in need of medical treatment.

Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia - Noting that many Malaysians, and their families, are in need of monthly financial assistance - the government will enact a LAW that provides for regular monthly financial assistance for the poor. The poorer families will receive more financial assistance. The government will make it a RIGHT in law - not like the current UMNO-BN government, which is a discretion of the government on a year to year basis - not a RIGHT in law.

FELDA - the scheme of providing land to the poor and landless, to be able to earn and generate income, and eventually become financially independent and out of poverty which was discontinued by the UMNO-BN in the 1990s will be revived.

MINISTERS and Ministries - The government will re-structure and reduce the number of Ministers and Ministries to save monies and make government more efficient. UMNO-BN, especially under the current PM have been simply increasing the number of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

Parliamentarians and ADUNs - there will be an allocations for the rental and maintenance of offices in the constituencies, including staff (PAs, Research Assistants and Drivers) to improve the service and accessibility of peoples' representative to the people. FULL TIME MPs/ADUNs - We pay them so much but so many are not around doing their MP/ADUN work...because they are still busy in their own personal business/profession. Some even miss Parliamentary session - and even when present, I wonder how many are really prepared and know what is being discussed - many are so silent. Many are afraid to have dialogues with their constituencies - is it the fear that when asked questions, their ignorance of issues will be revealed?

REMOVAL OF PARLIAMENTARIANS/ADUNS - A law will be enacted giving the people of a constituency to remove their elected representatives. One possibility is a petition signed by at least 50% of the registered voters in a Constituency. 

WORKERS - Government shall ensure REGULAR EMPLOYMENT (employment until retirement/retrenchment/termination for disciplinary reason). Will seek to reduce, limit and/or abolish precarious employment like short-term contracts and 'contractor for labour' system.(See other earlier posts about what need to change in terms of worker and trade union policy and laws in Malaysia)

MINIMUM WAGE - A comprehensive Minimum Wage System, will be enacted depending on the area, be it rural or in urban centres, type of employment, taking into consideration cost of living of the particular area....It shall apply primarily for employers of more than 15 employees. Smaller employers in smaller businesses will be allowed to use profit sharing scheme. 

The UMNO-BN approach was to lump all employers in ONE category, noting that it is very unfair for smaller employers/businesses like sundry shops, mechanics, operating in smaller towns and rural areas who really do not make that much monthly profits. All employers were obligated to also pay the same Minimum Wages is wrong and has resulted in the closure of such businesses...Income/Profits of businesses shall also be a consideration in determining obligation to pay minimum wages...Those not obligated to pay minimum wages shall have a profit sharing scheme with workers, ensuring that workers earn no less than 40% of the profits of the said businesses. UMNO-BN government strategy was smart - because then a lot of employers(many of whom from these smaller businesses would protest such increased Minimum Wages) - so the BIG employers with large profits also managed to keep Minimum Wages low. It would have been smarter if a higher Minimum Wage was imposed on the bigger companies with higher income and profits...especially these foreign companies?

COMMERCIAL RATES for the 1st, 2nd and higher floors of shop lots used for residential purpose shall be abolished. This will include commercial rates for electricity, water, telephony, sewage treatment and Local Council Rates. Residential Rates will be charged. This, is in view, that after GST many of these shop lots are currently unoccupied and not anymore being used for commercial purposes. Such a move, will not just assist property owners, bust also make more affordable housing for people...and will also reduce cost of living, as many of these shops are in town or near towns. It will also increase security for premises, which now is generally people-free during non-working hours. Look at the number of unoccupied shop lots in a town like Temerloh and much wasted space that could have been used for housing if only the occupants had to pay residential rates.

OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT - All documents, including Tol Agreements and Auditor General's report on 1MDB, shall be declassified. All remaining documents, including those relating to national security, shall be declassified and made available to the public after a lapse of thirty(30) years.

ELECTION MANIFESTO - IS IT JUST 'MERE PUFF' - OR 'PROMISES' THAT CANNOT BE ENFORCED BY LAW BY A CITIZEN'? It should not be...It must be a binding agreement that should be enforceable by the people...No use if it simply is a 'LIE' to get votes...but after winning the Elections, it is forgotten. Remember the promise for Local Council Elections ...So, maybe, at the very least it must be a formal agreement between the various political parties...

After the General Elections, how do the political parties ensure that the MPs/ADUNs and PM/MB/Chief Minister do what was promised...or at the very least try their best to do it...We need the political parties to monitor the different governments it forms alone(or with other parties), and as such we need a COUNCIL to monitor the different governments, and it is best that this COUNCIL is made up by the different political parties, their leaders preferably..

So, there must be a COUNCIL of party leaders --- who will oversee and monitor every PM, MB, Chief Minister ...I would suggest that this COUNCIL will not only monitor but also ADVISE where needed...and preferably made up by the leaders of the different Anwar, Mahathir, Lim Kit Siang, Tan Kok Wai, Muhyiddin... If party leaders end up being PM or MB, it becomes more difficult for the political party to monitor governments led by their own party supreme leaders??? 

Some Opposition coalition is spending too much time on deciding Prime Ministerial candidates ...and Menteri Besar candidate...or the number of seats....WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT WILL THEY DO FOR MALAYSIA OR A PARTICULAR STATE IF AND WHEN WE VOTE THEM INTO GOVERNMENT.

A simple..vague manifesto will not do...we need more details...Look for example the Manifesto of the Labour Party in UK...

We do not want 'business as usual' after the upcoming General Elections ...only different are the people with the power, or maybe just 'new cronnies'...

* The above is just some suggestions as what should be in a Manifesto - still incomplete as we did not look at so many other issues of concern like Education, Judiciary, Police, etc...

The parties that will be standing for elections are made up of people who know more and should highlight what else that they will change...





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