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A logo is only as good as its owner

The logo ought to be easily identifiable with party policies that can bring about a more democratic, just and progressive Malaysia

Some serious soul searching is in order

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A logo is crucial for any political party worth its salt as it is meant to represent the collective and serve as its symbolic face in the public domain. It establishes instant brand recognition.

That is why there was bickering recently among component parties of Pakatan Harapan over PKR’s suggestion that the pact use its party logo in the next general election, like in the last general election.

The detractors, namely the DAP and Amanah, objected to the suggestion because the PH logo, as opposed to PKR’s, represents the entire pact while the latter identifies only a portion of the whole – or diminishes the corporate image of the rest of the coalition.

While it is true that the PH logo is relatively new compared to PKR’s, the experience of Perikatan Nasional in using its logo successfully for the first time in the Sabah state election suggests that PH too has the potential to make its logo familiar or popular among the public.

The logo issue should not become a disuniting factor now for a pact that is desperately trying to make a comeback in Putrajaya. Indeed, it should not divert PH’s attention from what should be its priorities.

After all, a logo is only as good as the party it represents. Hence, the pact must strive to rebuild its strength and solidarity, as rightly pointed out by Amanah’s communication chief Khalid Abdul Samad, in order to regain public confidence and trust.

PH has to get its act together for the sake of its own political survival as a pact that holds out hope, especially for the reforms Malaysians have been craving for.

In the bigger scheme of things, PH – or any other political pact that is seriously contending for power – has a vital and bigger role to play in rebuilding a country whose economy has just been battered by the pandemic.

If returned to power, PH has a heavy task to govern the country out of the current socioeconomic, health and political crises. New challenges have emerged as well, such as an increasing rate of poverty, shuttered businesses, mental health and a lost generation of schoolchildren.

The 22 months of PH governance showcased the pact’s endeavour to make substantive reforms in line with democratic principles and practices.

But there were also unfulfilled promises partly because of the abrupt change of government through a bloodless coup last year, as well as PH’s reluctance to make substantial changes particularly in human rights and civil liberties.

Concerned Malaysians obviously no longer want to entertain such an excuse as PH made many promises in the last electoral manifesto because “we didn’t think we would win the general election”. Such a manifesto has to be reworked.

That is why Malaysian electorate deserves to know before the next general election what the PH strategies and policies are pertaining to certain important facets of life, such as the economy, healthcare, education, the environment, democratic institutions and human rights.

For example, in healthcare, apart from pouring more money into the public healthcare system in the wake of the menacing pandemic, PH politicians will have to figure out how to improve healthcare services in terms of, say, personnel training, monetary incentives, research and facilities.

Climate change is also another challenge that PH has to tackle in the coming years as it not only is linked to issues of environmental degradation but also food security and human and global sustainability. In the recent past, PH at both federal and state levels has not shown deep commitment to environmental care.

If a logo is as good as the party it represents, then the logo ought to be easily identifiable with party policies that can help bring about a Malaysia that is democratic, just, progressive, productive, prosperous and peaceful. – The Malaysian Insight

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