10 Pledges Anwar & PH Made That Will Impact You
With the 15th General Election (GE15) over after the appointment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the 10th Prime Minister, it is time to look back at the pledges he and his Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition made
Looking back at the GE15 campaign period, PH's manifesto was the thickest of them all, running over 90 pages long.
Instead of just communicating the pledges, its manifesto expanded on the issues with facts and figures to give context to the depth of the problems before presenting solutions.
During Anwar's first press conference as Prime Minister last night, 24 November, he said he will work closely with Barisan Nasional (BN) and GPS, the two coalitions in the new government, to see whether they could collectively realise their manifestos as well.
Anwar argued that it should not be a problem because all manifestos are meant to help the rakyat anyway.
To hold PH accountable to its pledges as they lead the grand coalition government, here are the top 10 pledges to look out for:
1. A smaller Cabinet to save cost and improve efficiency
PH and Anwar have always been critical of the bloated Cabinet size seen in the last two administrations.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's Cabinet had 70 ministers and deputy ministers, including the prime minister; while Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's Cabinet was even bigger after including several posts with ministerial status.
In the PH government between 2018 and 2020, the Cabinet only had 55 members.
When the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) revealed the salaries of 68 Cabinet members in October 2020, they made RM52,000 a month on average, or at least RM42 million collectively a year.
Not only can reducing the Cabinet size save on operation costs, but former second finance minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said it can also hasten the decision-making process and make the government more efficient.
2. Reduce the cost of living by eradicating cartels and lowering toll fares
To resolve inflation and the rising prices of goods, PH promised to eliminate cartels in the food and essential supply sectors, and eradicate profiteering.
PH also intended to gradually reduce the toll rates at PLUS highways, with the ultimate goal of eliminating tolls and returning PLUS highways to public ownership.
3. Eradicate poverty with targetted financial aid and offer affordable homes
One of the promises PH made was to provide micro-credit financing for vulnerable demographics to participate in economic opportunities and free themselves from the vicious poverty cycle through fund injections.
They also intended to continue the Bantuan Sara Hidup programme to help overcome living costs. Children from not well-to-do families will also be given monthly assistance to prevent stunted growth.
PH said they will provide affordable homes for ownership and rental as well.
They will also partner with every member of parliament (MP) to identify excluded communities and help them.
PH said they will expand the coverage of the mySalam programme to the M40 group. This programme will cover critical illnesses and admission to the hospital.
4. Improve job security and protection with various new policies
PH said they will implement a structured minimum wage policy plan to achieve the status of a high-income nation.
For gig workers, such as delivery riders and e-hailing drivers, PH will establish a regulatory body to implement social security schemes for six million people in this category. The body will deal with contract agreements, free life insurance schemes, and funeral compensation amounting to RM10,000.
They will also provide special allowance to those who have lost their jobs as contract workers, applicable to those who are actively seeking new employment.
PH promised to eradicate discrimination in the forms of race, religion, gender, and physical and mental ability at workplaces. The wage gap between the genders will also be addressed.
5. Enhance initiatives to help Malaysians to own their first home
PH said they will provide adequate affordable homes for purchase and rental in localities that need them most.
They will reintroduce a RM3 billion JaminPinjam fund to guarantee financing homes for first-time buyers of affordable housing.
Best of all, for first-time home buyers, PH will give a 100% stamp duty exemption on properties priced below RM500,000.
6. Support young Malaysians in pursuing further education
PH will introduce a scholarship to help reduce dependency on loans, such as PTPTN, for B40 families. The government will also introduce Targeted PTPTN Loans Forgiveness for the needy group.
They will also allow Kad Belia cardholders, eligible for those aged between 13 and 25, to enjoy promotions and discounts at selected businesses.
PH said they will implement a policy of 'No Discrimination, No Rejection' for all registrations into the TVET system.
Meanwhile, PH will also encourage more SPM leavers to take up TVET courses. They will partner with companies to facilitate school-to-work transition programmes to produce more students with hireable skills.
They pledged to help more high-achieving SPM & STPM graduates secure the opportunity to continue their studies in Public Higher Education Institutions (IPTAs).
7. Strengthen women and children's rights
PH promised to introduce 'universal child benefits', whereby every newborn will be given cash benefits that will be deposited monthly to the parents' account up to six years old.
They will also guarantee citizenship for any child born in or outside Malaysia to either a Malaysian mother or father regardless of race and religion. The amendments will also include automatic citizenship for adopted children.
PH will resume efforts outlined in the National Strategic Plan in Handling Causes of Child Marriage 2025, as implemented in January 2020.
Under their administration, they said every bill presented in parliament will be guaranteed to possess gender inclusivity elements.
They pledged to solve period poverty by giving free sanitary pads and tampons to all students and women in the B40 category.
8. Guarantee freedom of expression
PH will guarantee freedom of media by reigniting efforts to establish a Media Council and amending the Printing Press Act.
They will also review and repeal draconian provisions of acts that can be abused to restrict free speech, such as the Sedition Act 1948, the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, and the Printing Press and Publications Act 1984.
They promised to establish an independent, professional, and transparent film board that will comprise industry members, artists, and members of civil society.
9. Reform political systems and strengthen anti-corruption efforts
PH promised to set a 10-year term limit for the positions of Prime Minister, Menteri Besar, and Chief Minister.
They also want to separate the roles and responsibilities of the Public Prosecutor from the Attorney General to reinforce the freedom of public prosecutors.
To prevent political instability, they will implement the Fixed Parliament Term Act to avoid the negative effects on investor confidence and economic stability.
Under their leadership, PH pledged to provide equal constituency development funds (CDF) for MPs regardless of their party.
As for anti-corruption efforts, PH will ensure that the nomination of the MACC chief commissioner is vetted by a bipartisan Parliamentary Special Committee for a truly neutral candidate.
They will also continue the asset declaration practice for all ministers, MPs, senior civil servants, GLC chairpersons, and all spouses and close family members aged 18 and above.
10. Empower Sabah and Sarawak's positions in the country's governance
Anwar promised to appoint two Deputy Prime Ministers, one of whom will be from the Borneo regions.
Under his premiership, he will also push for fairer revenue sharing between East and West Malaysia.
PH also pledged to see the full implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report as steps in empowering peace and prosperity in Sabah and Sarawak.