Here's What Ministries Under Pakatan Harapan Have Said And Done In 100 Days
Last Friday, 17 August, marked the 100th day of the Pakatan Harapan administration and its own 10-promises deadline
Succeeding Barisan Nasional (BN), the world's longest ruling coalition, Pakatan Harapan had pledged to achieve 10 things within its 100-day honeymoon.
In between implementing the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) for housewives, abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and ordering the removal of LGBT activists' portraits from an exhibition, ministries under the new government have wasted no time in making things happen in the last 100 days.
In light of the 100-day deadline, we break down some of the things various ministries have said and done within the new government's honeymoon period:
1. Prime Minister's Department
- Resolution of statelessness
National Unity and Social Wellbeing Minister P. Waytha Moorthy said on 16 August, that he aims to resolve the issue of stateless individuals in Malaysia following the announcement that red IC holders over 60 years old will be granted citizenship in the near future.
- Removal of LGBT activists' portraits
The portraits of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders (LGBT) activists Nisha Ayub and Pang Khee Teik were removed from the George Town Festival exhibition on the orders of Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa earlier this month because they were "clearly promoting LGBT activities". His decision was met with strong opposition.
- Repeal of Anti-Fake News Act
The controversial Anti-Fake News Act was repealed on 16 August after a bill to nullify it was tabled by Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong in Parliament.
2. Ministry of Finance
- RM14.4 billion to be recovered from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) "if we are lucky"
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng revealed last month that the amount is just 30% of the estimated funds siphoned from 1MDB.
- Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER)'s RM9.4 Billion scandal
The Ministry lodged a report against its own subsidiary in June after it was revealed that SSER paid a Chinese company 88% of the RM9.4 billion despite having only 13% of the work done.
- End the use of guns and weapons during raids against tax evaders
Last month, Guan Eng ordered the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN) to stop bringing armed personnel to office raids.
3. Ministry of Education
- Five-year plan
Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik wants to make sure that children carry lighter bags to school, and reduce the number of years before students begin tertiary education.
- Focus on the English language
In May, Maszlee said that the English language is crucial for Malaysia's education system to flourish.
- Recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) within five years
Earlier this month, Maszlee said the Ministry will conduct a "holistic study" before deciding on UEC's recognition within five years of the Pakatan Harapan government.
- School visits
Within the last two months, Maszlee made surprise visits to a school in Johor and another in Terengganu. He also warned contractors across the country to follow the original schedules of school projects.
- School shoes
Citing requests from mothers, Maszlee said last month that students will wear black shoes instead of white next year.
- National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan deferment
All borrowers earning less than RM4,000 a month are allowed to defer their study loan repayments.
4. Ministry of Health
- Improvements of 353 Community Clinics
Last month, Health Minister Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad said 353 Community Clinics, previously known as 1Malaysia Clinics, will be provided with doctors, pharmacies, and healthcare services.
- Direct channel to report any form of harassment experienced by hospital workers
The move followed a recent exposé of sexual harassment of housemen by a department head at the Sungai Buloh Hospital. However, the motion to debate the issue was shot down in Parliament last week.
- Enforcement of languages allowed during ward rounds
On 20 August, Deputy Health Minister Dr. Lee Boon Chye urged senior doctors to only use Bahasa Malaysia (BM) or English with their junior colleagues during ward rounds to ensure all medical officers have the opportunity to learn.
5. Ministry of Transport
- Measures to eradicate bribery for driver's licenses
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said in May that driving institutes must be transparent with their fees and charges. Dashboard cameras will also be installed in test cars in the near future after discussion with driving school operators.
- Unlimited access to public transport for RM100 a month
Last month, Loke announced that passes for unlimited public transportation will be available early next year.
- Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) no longer allowed to sell car number plates
In May, Loke announced that all purchases of car number plates have to go through the Road Transport Department (JPJ). An electronic bidding system for numbers will also be in place by January 2019.
- Cancellation of AES summonses from 2012 to 31 August 2018
The Transport Minister said last week that the government will not collect all outstanding AES summonses up to 1 September. With the 3.1 million unpaid summonses as of May this year, the government has lost about RM435 million in revenue.
6. Ministry of Communication and Multimedia
- Make Internet access a constitutional right for Malaysians
In June, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said he will propose in the near future to make Internet access a constitutional right. He added that the proposal will benefit people without involving any political element.
- 25% drop in broadband prices by the end of 2018
Gobind said in June that discussions involving relevant parties on the matter were scheduled to be concluded by August, after which new lower-priced broadband packages are expected to be launched to customers.
In line with this sentiment, TM's Unifi Basic plan was launched last month for those with household earnings under RM4,500. Maxis has also reduced its fibre broadband prices by 36% to 65% after an announcement yesterday, 20 August.
7. Ministry of Human Resources
- Apology for "pendatang" comment
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran apologised last month after reports claimed that he had called Malays "pendatang" (immigrant), saying that his words were misconstrued by the media.
- No foreign cooks in restaurants starting 1 January 2019
Kulasegaran said in June that local restaurants have until 31 December to hire Malaysians as their cooks. However, he softened his stance within a day, claiming that it was just a suggestion for restaurants.
Nonetheless, on 11 August, Kulasegaran said a new hiring policy for foreign workers will be announced after meeting with the Home Ministry.
- Minimum wage to be raised to RM1,500 across Malaysia
The Minister also said last month that the RM1,500 minimum wage will be implemented in stages across the country over the next two months. The rate will also not differentiate workers based on their nationalities.
- Suspension of Bestinet Sdn Bhd
Last week, Kulasegaran announced the suspension of Bestinet, the company in charge of foreign worker applications from Nepal following reports of exploitation of Nepali migrant workers.
The government will also sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Nepali government in the near future to resolve the issue of worker intake from Nepal.
8. Ministry of Youth and Sports
- Controversy over the alleged appointment of an LGBT activist as a special officer
After a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and activist Numan Afifi was allegedly hired as a press officer at the Ministry last month, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said that he was still interviewing candidates for positions at his Ministry.
- Abolishment of National Service (NS) and National Civics Bureau (BTN)
Last week, Syed Saddiq announced the abolishment of the NS programme and BTN with immediate effect, before adding that the Ministry will look into drafting a replacement programme that can "shape future youths to have strong vision and character".
9. Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development
- LGBT can exist in Malaysia as long as the "lifestyle" isn't "glamourised"
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Women's Affairs and Welfare Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah said the minority group can coexist in Malaysia as long as their "practice" is kept behind closed doors.
- Calling the marriage of an 11-year-old to a man 30 years older than her "not valid"
Early last month, Wan Azizah declared that the child's marriage was "not valid and they must be separated". However, the marriage remains valid as of today after the Deputy Prime Minister said action can only be taken on the case based on evidence and not solely on media reports or hearsay.
- Child daycare facilities in all government offices starting January 2019
Following the death of a five-month-old baby, Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh announced last month that all government offices will have child daycare centres by January 2019.
10. Ministry of Home Affairs
- Arrest of Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said last month that the fugitive politician was picked up by the Indonesian police after receiving a request for assistance from Malaysian authorities. Jamal spent 27 days in prison before resurfacing to announce his bid for the Equanimity – the luxury yacht of fugitive businessman Jho Low.
- Travel ban on former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor
Days after the 14th General Election, the Immigration Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs declared a blacklist on the couple from leaving the country.
- Immigration raid
Last month, the department launched the Ops Mega 3.0 operation, where 229 illegal immigrants were arrested by immigration officers. An expatriate took to Facebook to lament the "unnecessary and cruel" treatment of her Filipino helper in the raid.
Nonetheless, the 100 days were just the beginning of a new era
Despite the achievements in their honeymoon period, the Pakatan Harapan government still has a long way to go on fulfilling their promises.
Depending on the coalition's report card by the end of their current reign, Pakatan Harapan will face their fate in the 15th General Election. Till then, the government will remain under scrutiny by the Opposition and the people.