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Rafizi: Pakatan will retain direct cash aid

 | April 8, 2013

It is, however, pointless to increase cash aid without addressing the structural problems plaguing the economy, says the PKR leader.

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PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat would not phase out direct cash aid to those in need, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said today.

He said this after being questioned by reporters on whether Pakatan would phase out Najib-initiated Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) if it takes federal power.

“However, there is no point in increasing cash aid without addressing the structural problems plaguing the economy,” Rafizi said at a press conference held at the party headquarters.

He said that the structural economic issues Barisan Nasional failed to address in its manisfesto, among others, are corruption, monopoly and poor education quality.

“On top of that, BN talks about increasing aid under BR1M but never came up with proposals to reduce prices of goods and controlling inflation.

“Without addressing those matters, whatever cash aid given will be diluted by soaring prices,” said Rafizi.

On Saturday, BN chairman Najib Tun Razak unveiled the ruling coalition’s manifesto at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, in an event attended by about 50,000 people.

Among the promises made by Najib was to increase the BR1M aid from the existing RM500 to RM1,200 gradually to each household if voted back to power.

He also took a leaf from Pakatan’s manifesto and promised to build the Pan Borneo Highway in East Malaysia and slashing car prices between 20% and 30%.

Pakatan’s manifesto better

Rafizi, who is also the PKR candidate for the Pandan parliamentary seat, said there is nothing new in the BN manifesto as many of the ideas were copied from Pakatan’s manifesto.

“It’s either copied from our manifesto or it’s something they are already implementing right now,” he said.

But unlike Pakatan’s manifesto, Rafizi said that BN’s blueprint did not indicate a specific mechanism to help achieve its aspirations.

He cited the example where BN promised to create 3.3 million jobs for the locals, without coming up with a proper mechanism to do so.

“But we made it clear that Pakatan will give skills training to SPM leavers who could not pursue higher studies.

“With this upskilling process, they can take over the one million jobs available in Malaysia but are now being dominated by foreigners. So we are being specific unlike BN,” said Rafizi.

He also said that BN’s manifesto also missed out many other issues such as providing free education and reducing prices of fuel.

“We also promised to give 20% oil royalty to Sabah and Sarawak, unlike BN which continues to use our oil money as federal allocation,” he said.

Rafizi later said that Najib made a “tactical error” by copying Pakatan’s manifesto as people could now see many of the opposition pact’s ideas could be implemented.

“Previously BN said our policies could bankrupt the country but now it is promising the same. People can see now that we do have the financial muscle to implement the promises,” he said.

Also read:

More goodies from BN manifesto

Najib: Choose me or Anwar


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