Manifestos matter, NGO tells PH

PETALING JAYA: An NGO has criticised Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his statement yesterday that Pakatan Harapan (PH) made its election manifesto without expecting to take federal power in the May 9 polls.

Kuasa, which was formed in 2014 to empower groups and individuals who want to become agents for change, said it was irresponsible to prepare a manifesto for a general election without considering whether the promises would be delivered in the event of victory.

It also took Mahathir to task for calling the manifesto “a big burden” now.

“It is flippant of the prime minister to set aside his own promises as too burdensome,” its chief executive Praba Ganesan said in a statement today.

Saying the prime minister appeared to have conceded that the government would not fulfil all of its promises, Kuasa called on PH to clarify which it intended to abandon and whether this was a prelude to a budget which would be “thin” on the PH election manifesto.

It also urged PH to present a post-election manifesto with its apologies so that the people would have a clear idea of what to expect.

“Manifestos matter, and if governments feel they can forget them when they are in power, should voters ignore all election promises by parties because they are purely decorative?

“If so, are Malaysians left to voting for pretty faces and hoping for the best? Is that not tyranny or worst, deceit?”