The 100 days of the Pakatan Harapan Government

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 17): Following is the English translation of the full text of the address by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on “The 100 Days of the Pakatan Harapan Government” broadcast tonight to the nation over RTM:

Just over 100 days ago, we strived to change the Government of the Barisan Nasional that the world had known as a kleptocracy, a thieving government.

Thanks to the extremely strong spirit of the people, the kleptocratic government was defeated, something assumed to be difficult and impossible.

This victory of the people was very massive indeed in the political history of Malaysia.

This success will surely go down in the historical records of the country as a victory beyond comparison.

Some consider this victory as a miracle, more so when it was achieved without bloodshed or clashes between the people and the authorities, as we have seen around the world.

However, after losing, the BN still tried to complicate the situation by harping on racial and religious politics, and even attempted to drag in the Rulers so as to incite hatred against the Pakatan Harapan Government.

Every appointment to key positions in the Government was condemned in the name of race and religion. They forget that when they appointed officers, they had emphasised undivided support for their party.

The laws they formulated were aimed at making them invulnerable and suppressing their adversaries for no reason.

The newspapers and media owned by them were used to cover up their misconduct and lies.

After the Pakatan Harapan took over the government, we found that the damage they had done was far worse than what we had been anticipated. All departments were intimidated and used by them to conduct their party activities and not to administer the country well. Their debt totalled a trillion ringgit, a figure unheard of before. But, arrogantly, they have denied that they had done such damage. Unashamedly, they admitted that the traced millions of ringgit were for their party. How they came into so much money was never explained.

We also directly terminated the philosophy of ‘cash is king’. Cash only becomes king when one has a lot of it. For a political party to have such a large amount of money, there is no other way than for the party to have stolen it.

The huge burden left behind by the previous government is the trillion ringgit debt. Just repaying the interest can bankrupt us, what more repaying the principal sum.

Talking about the wrongs of the previous government will take days. Therefore, we will focus on the promises made in our (election) manifesto.

We started by abolishing the GST. But to restore the Sales and Service Tax requires Parliamentary approval. The process of establishing a government and Parliamentary proceedings take time. While the SST awaits Parliamentary approval, we cannot collect the SST. Hence, the prices of cars and other things have dropped and the people are enjoying a cheap sale.

Nevertheless, the process has started to fulfill the other promises.

The petrol prices have been maintained, except for RON97 which is less used.

The EPF scheme for housewives began on Aug 15, 2018.

Comprehensive studies have begun on mega projects awarded to other countries.

The implementation of the High-Speed Rail (MyHSR) was deferred on May 30, 2018.

The implementation of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Phase 3 was cancelled on May 30, 2018.

The implementation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) was postponed on June 3, 2018.

The Multi Product Pipeline (MPP) and Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) were deferred on July 5, 2018.

The process has begun to standardise the minimum wage across the country and raise the minimum wage in stages in five years.

A Cabinet memorandum is being prepared on the introduction of the Skim Peduli Sihat health care scheme which provides a RM500 funding for basic treatment at a registered private clinic for the B40 group.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry was not set up in the cases of 1MDB, FELDA, MARA and Tabung Haji because investigations by several agencies are ongoing and the courts will decide on these cases.

    - The investigation into 1MDB by a special team was started on May 21, 2018;

    - The investigations into FELDA, MARA and Tabung Haji have also started;

    - The leadership at 1MBD was revamped on June 28, 2018; and

    - The leadership at FELDA and Tabung Haji were revamped on May 14, 2018.

It has been agreed to set up a Special Cabinet Committee to expedite the review and implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

On the PTPTN loans, the abolition of the blacklist was undertaken from May 24, 2018, to June 8, 2018, and involved 429,945 borrowers.

Besides, the number of outstanding students who were given discounts or absolved of debts up to May 31, 2018, totalled 51,272 borrowers involving a sum of RM1.56 billion.

In the effort to abolish the unreasonable debts forced onto FELDA settlers, three mechanisms were identified, namely:

    - an incentive to write off a portion of the extreme replanting debt through the provision of RM300 million in funds for five years;
    - writing off the replanting debt of RM5,000 per settler with the FELDA system, involving 90,418 settlers at a cost of RM452 million; and
    - an incentive to write off a portion of the remaining FGV share loan, involving 77,972 settlers at a cost of RM103 million.

This is the progress on the 10 basic pledges of the manifesto to be fulfilled in 100 days. Another pledge fulfilled within the 100-day period is the promise to resolve the citizenship problem of members of the Indian community and other communities aged 60 and above and holding the red identity card. This is being done. Nearly 3,500 members of the Indian community will be issued with blue identity cards.

Besides the manifesto pledges to be met in 100 days, several other matters were achieved which reflected a more comprehensive or holistic approach.

Among others, the election of an Opposition MP, Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee, as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee showed the willingness of the ruling party to be scrutinised by Opposition members.

The Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB is no longer classified under the Official Secrets Act as was done by the previous Government. This Government practises an open government policy and will not conceal any report on crimes committed by anyone, including members of the Cabinet.

We have also set up a committee to reform institutions which make up the pillars of the country and I am pleased to report that almost 300 proposals put forth by the committee have been accepted.

We also succeeded in securing a pardon for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as we had promised.

The anti-corruption and integrity institutions have been strengthened. All members of the Government and elected representatives have to declare their assets.

The Government realised 21 promises or 35 per cent of the 60 promises in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto to unshackle Malaysia from the issue of corruption and ensure good governance. These efforts called for a drastic integrated and comprehensive plan. The Government commitment was to achieve the principle of wanting Malaysia to be known for integrity and not corruption.

The matters that have been implemented so far include:

    - Establishing a Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR).
    - Establishing the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) to enable the efforts to save Malaysia from corruption to be implemented immediately, effectively and comprehensively. The GIACC has been given the mandate to hold meetings with all the Secretaries-General of Ministries to identify the risks of corruption based on the issues identified by their respective organisations. The Secretaries-General of Ministries or heads of department are required to personally assume the responsibility and discuss with the GIACC the preparation of action plans to address the identified problems or issues.
    - Formulating the National Anti-Corruption Plan to enable the issues of governance, integrity and anti-corruption to be addressed comprehensively.
    - Legislation that allows punitive action to be taken against officers who deliberately cause leakages or wastage of Government funds will be formulated for this purpose.
    - To combat money politics, a Political Funding Bill is being drafted. A special team led by the GIACC has been set up to submit a draft of the Political Funding Bill to the Cabinet.
    - A policy on the giving of gifts and donations to members of the civil service (involving ministers to political secretaries) is being drafted. At the moment, this policy only focuses on civil servants.

    - The Government has decided that Members of the Administration (ministers and deputy ministers) should no longer issue Support Letters in relation to any project or application. Heads of department have been requested to no longer assume Support Letters as a directive or decision of Members of the Administration.

    - On the declaration of assets, the guidelines are being amended to expand the definition of Members of the Administration so that the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will also have to declare their assets. Accordingly, an amendment will be made to the Code of Ethics for Members of the Administration and Government Members of Parliament. From now on, the assets will be declared to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) so that there is openness and transparency in this practice.
    - The Government has decided to improve the mechanism pertaining to the acceptance of gifts, entertainment and payment by Members of the Administration. The definition of Members of the Administration is expanded to also include the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. They also have to report the acceptance of gifts, entertainment and payment.

Since taking over the leadership, the Government has fulfilled its promise not to restrict freedom of speech and of the media. But this freedom does not encompass any effort and report to provoke the races to be hostile to one another to the extent of triggering chaos and riots. What is meant by provocation will be explained.

As I mentioned earlier, the efforts taken over the past 100 days were not made in isolation.

They have taken into account the efforts to ensure that the national institutions are not left behind in their consolidation as we pursue the promises in our manifesto.

The Government believes that in the future, regardless of which party rules or who becomes the Prime Minister and Ministers, the consolidation of the institutions will ensure that there is no corruption, abuse of power and theft of money and public property and, if these happen, they will not escape legal action.

And this is what the Government of today holds on to, respecting and appreciating the will of the people so that the Rule of Law, an administration in accordance with the law, is enforced.

All that I have stated is not in the defence of this new Government but to share with the people what we have been working on since May 9 this year.

Although many of the Government leaders do not have administrative experience, over the past 100 days they have successfully fulfilled promises and demonstrated their administrative abilities.

As normal human beings, we cannot avoid making mistakes. We are willing to be reprimanded and we will not react aggressively against those who criticise.

The good comes from Allah (God). Thank you.