Frankly Speaking: Get your act together

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on December 24, 2018 - December 30, 2018.
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The government has been uncharacteristically generous recently. While well meaning, that raises red flags as to whether Pakatan Harapan (PH) is burying its head in the sand over real issues.

Last month, it announced a special RM500 one-off payment to civil servants to be included in their December salary.

That was followed by a special RM77 million allocation for FELDA settlers to help with various cash flow issues and RM164.7 million for rubber smallholders hit by poor yields during the rainy season. These measures were announced last week.

Granted, this will provide some financial relief to the beneficiaries. However, it is clear the moves are a direct response to the growing unhappiness with the government.

Seven months after being voted into power on May 9, PH has not been able to come up with a clear plan to address the rising cost of living or boost economic growth.

Worse, it is not even clear who is responsible for economic management — the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Economic Affairs?

Meantime, parties within the coalition have been caught up with infighting or wooing defecting MPs from Umno, who had been clearly rejected by the majority of Malaysians in the general election.

A member of the PH coalition even admitted last week that the government’s approval rating had dropped drastically.

The government must get its act together quickly. The euphoria of the May 9 electoral victory is fading and PH should get on with the job it asked for.

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