Home Newsletters 500 days of Pakatan: How has it fared?

500 days of Pakatan: How has it fared?

Photograph: Sumisha Naidu/CNA

Join us on Telegram and Instagram for the latest.

The PH government must have a real understanding of the needs of people across the country including those in Sabah and Sarawak, writes Prema Devaraj.

It has been more than 500 days since Pakatan Harapan seized the reins of power in the last general election from Barisan Nasional, and it has survived various challenges along the way. Given this milestone, it is time for us to take stock of what the PH has done so far.

The PH government has made some successful changes over this period, but then again, it has also experienced some setbacks. No doubt it has been a steep learning curve for PH, the opposition and the public.

PH has had to contend with a number of things, including what it means to work in a coalition and run a government (though certain individuals have had much more experience than others!). They have had to grapple with the actual financial situation of the country and how things work (or don’t) in the civil service while being constantly under fire from the opposition.

Meanwhile, the expectations of those who voted PH into government remain high. Many expect PH to steer the nation forward despite the quagmire of debt, financial scandal and widespread corruption in governance. It is a tall order, but there it is. The people expect better than what was there before.

The frustration that change is too slow in coming in some areas is understandable. So too is the anger of the people when shades of arrogance and a lack of transparency and accountability akin to the previous government creep in.

READ MORE:  Pakatan must project hope before providing hope

Worse are the policies which favour big corporations at the expense of public interest.

Then there is the internal politicking within certain component parties which is certainly not what the public need nor wish to see.

PH must provide the leadership and not capitulate under pressure from the opposition’s perpetual chorus on race and religion.

The time PH has before the next election cannot only be about securing votes, but must also be about nation-building. The diversity of the country must be acknowledged and affirmed. Unity must be forged and equal respect given to all.

There can be no room for any ideology which supports the superiority of one group over the other. PH must stand firm on this. Meanwhile, it must pay more attention to vulnerable groups struggling to survive with the rising cost of living. It is only by working together that we can move forward as a nation.

The PH government must have a vision for the longer-term development of the country that takes into account climate change and sustainability. It must seriously reconsider mega-projects around the country, including highways, dams and reclamation along the coastlines. Likewise, to ensure sustainability, it should review industries which threaten our natural resources and the environment.

Housing, health and education must remain crucial areas of attention for PH and not be commoditised.

PH must have a real understanding of the needs of people across the country including those in Sabah and Sarawak. It must give special attention to vulnerable groups, including the Orang Asli and other indigenous people, farmers, fisherfolk, migrants and refugees – and uphold their rights and address their needs.

READ MORE:  Pakatan Harapan: On recapturing Putrajaya

The PH must set itself a high standard and work strategically towards it. It has been a long struggle to wrest Malaysia back from the abyss. It would be a shame if the hard-fought victory last year results in only a one-term government – for it will take more than one term to create a new Malaysia.

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x