‘Unrealistic targets, lack of political will reasons for unfulfilled promises’

28 Jun 2019 / 14:58 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Many of the election promises made by Pakatan Harapan (PH) have failed to be implemented due to unrealistic targets and a lack of political will.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) research director Laurence Todd said this is based on the study conducted by the think tank on the performance of the federal government since coming into power on May 9 last year.

Todd said while various aspects of the government’s performance should be commended, including its review of mega projects and investigating mega scandals, it should stay true to its manifesto and find the political will to deliver them.

He said among the examples of unrealistic targets made by PH included the promise of reducing cost of living through the abolition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“While the promise to abolish the tax was implemented, the government was never going to achieve its target of lowering goods and services prices,” he said at the launch of Projek Pantau Report Card on the government, here, today.

“The whole issue to reduce the burden faced by the youth in regards to the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans and the promise to build one million affordable homes in ten years are also unrealistic,” he added.

He noted that over one year in power, the coalition has only managed to deliver less than five percent of the promised affordable homes.

Todd said the government’s apparent delay in repealing oppressive laws such as the Official Secrets Act, Sedition Act, and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act proved its lack of political will in implementing its promises.

“Other examples of this (lack of intent) include PH’s promise to legalise the status of refugees and asylum seekers,” he said.

He added that several other pledges made in the manifesto, which “looked good on paper”, were also too soon to be judged, including the proposed Government Procurement Act.

“The timeline for its introduction is has been slipping and slipping. We really need to see progress. The same goes to its promises on tax reforms. So far, we have only seen a 1% corporate tax reduction for SMEs, nothing more,” he said.

According to Todd, based on the study conducted by Ideas on 224 promises and sub-promises in PH’s manifesto, only about 30% of them are set to be completed by the end of its first term, with 6% having been achieved and 23.5% on track.

“32.5% of these pledges have not even started yet, with a further 14% in trouble of failing to be delivered,” he said.

“The fact they are only one year in power, this is forgivable. But as we move forward, if we don’t see these other areas improving, then we may have to turn the score against them,” he added.

email blast