PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan must be frank with the people and admit that it promised the impossible in the election manifesto, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said.
In the wake of PH’s by-election defeat in Tanjung Piai, Lim said he believed Malaysians will “appreciate our frankness with their support and confidence largely intact”.
Addressing the Perak DAP convention in Ipoh this morning, he also declared that DAP would not become another MCA, or PH another Barisan Nasional.
This was because both DAP and PH were committed to the agenda of building a New Malaysia, “objectives which MCA, Umno, BN and Muafakat Nasional are opposed to”.
Lim said it was time for PH and its four component parties to reaffirm the hopes and promises of the manifesto, termed Buku Harapan.
“We must convince our core supporters that the trajectory towards a New Malaysia is on track, and that the five pillar promises contained in the manifesto remain our lodestar and guiding principle.”
The pillar promises of a New Malaysia, he reminded PH, were to reduce the people’s burden; implement institutional and political reforms; spur sustainable and equitable economic growth; return Sabah and Sarawak to the status accorded in Malaysia Agreement 1963; and create a Malaysia that was inclusive, moderate and respected globally.
Lim said PH received a thrashing in Tanjung Piai because the voters were disappointed with its record in the last 18 months.
“What is worse (is) the belief that the PH government in Putrajaya had gone back to the bad old ways of the previous BN government.
“They were wrong, but PH failed to communicate and to convince them that their disappointment and disillusionment, while understandable, were misplaced.
“PH remains as committed as ever in resetting the nation-building process to build a New Malaysia and is making progress in this direction,” he said.
Lim, the Iskandar Puteri MP, also said there was a need to review the “modus operandi” of PH and its members.
The parties and leaders, he said, must develop a “Pakatan Harapan mindset and approach” to the nation’s problems.
“A new balance will have to be struck between maintaining the solidarity and discipline of PH and articulation of principles and objectives by individual component parties which are not yet common PH policies.
“I do not agree, for instance, with the prime minister’s expression that the PH manifesto is not a ‘bible’, or with the ‘flying car’ proposal as a government project, or the detention of 12 Malaysians for alleged links with the non-existent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam.
“We have to find ways whereby leaders and activists in the component parties can voice their dissent from existing government policies and measures without being seen as opposition-minded or motivated by an ulterior objective to bring down the PH government.”