At least PH agrees with us on that, says MCA on ‘rebranded’ initiatives

The 1Malaysia People’s Aid programme has been rebranded as Cost of Living Aid under the Pakatan Harapan government. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: MCA has alleged that Pakatan Harapan (PH) is lacking in innovativeness but says it is not complaining that the one-year-old government has decided to rebrand initiatives attributed to Barisan Nasional (BN).

“As members of the former government, we are more than happy to see our well-received programmes alive and well and don’t mind them being renamed,” MCA central committee member Chan Quin Er told FMT.

“At least there is something that PH agrees with us.”

She said it was good for PH to have finally realised that “crying corruption for everything” was not adequate to hide its failure to innovate and carry out programmes it had claimed would be better versions of those started by BN.

“PH, in not being capable of devising its own path forward, is now looking into the past for proven policies and programmes,” she said. “It’s charting a path forward by merely renaming these existing initiatives.”

Chan also cited a recent online survey by The Edge newspaper, in which nearly 53% of 37,262 respondents said they were either indifferent or unhappy with PH’s performance.

Chan Quin Er.

“This goes to show the dramatic turn of people’s support a year on from May 9,” she said.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when asked yesterday to comment on claims that his government was merely rebranding BN programmes, said PH would implement them “the proper way” and “not through corruption or through giving contracts to cronies, not by asking for contract prices to be increased in order to make money”.

He gave the example of the East Coast Rail Link, which Putrajaya revived after bringing down the construction cost for Phases 1 and 2 to RM44 billion from the original RM65.5 billion.

He said the initial terms were “very bad”, adding that the government would carry out the project with due diligence.

“So, it is not right to say that we are doing what the previous government did,” he said during an interview to mark PH’s one year in power.

Other initiatives rebranded include the 1Malaysia People’s Aid or BR1M, which is now known as Cost of Living Aid, and the Rural Transformation Centres and Mini Rural Transformation Centres, now known as Village Community Centres. 1Malaysia Clinics are now known as Community Clinics and the early childhood development programme Permata was last month renamed as Genius.

PPBM Supreme Council member Tariq Ismail told FMT the argument that PH had become a copycat was misplaced.

“People need to understand that the role of the government is to take care of the welfare of the people and ensure measures are taken to achieve economic prosperity,” he said.

He said it wasn’t right to call PH a copycat “just because the PH government has renegotiated and resuscitated projects that were introduced and promoted by the previous government”.

The well-being of Malaysians, he added, depended in part on ensuring that they are not “hoodwinked by promises of prosperity and in the end paying unjust taxes because of markups to feed the pockets of the greedy”.