PH’s biggest mistake was its ‘fat’ manifesto, says Rafidah

Former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz says during her time with the Barisan Nasional, the coalition never had such a big or detailed election manifesto.

PETALING JAYA: Former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz has again hit out at Pakatan Harapan’s “Buku Harapan”, saying the coalition’s biggest mistake was having a “fat” manifesto.

The veteran politician, who was part of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cabinet during his first term in power more than two decades ago, said the manifesto was “too much” and that “nobody could digest” it.

“I never read your manifesto. I couldn’t, I’d fall asleep,” she said during a Facebook live session with DAP’s Hannah Yeoh this evening.

She said this when Yeoh, who is the Segambut MP, raised the issue that the current Perikatan Nasional government did not have a manifesto and that the transition from PH’s “thick” manifesto had made it difficult even for the civil service.

Rafidah said during her time with the Barisan Nasional, the coalition never had a big manifesto.

She said they knew there was no point in giving such a detailed manifesto “to the last decimal point” as no one could predict the future and cited the Covid-19 pandemic as an example.

“It was beyond your control. It is not a zero sum game.”

The BN, she said, would give broad outlines and in between would “change, amend and improve” on it.

“But now you make it like a Bible and Quran. You cannot amend any more.

“It is wrong and I’ve pointed it out already. In fact, I called it a stupid manifesto.”

Rafidah had criticised PH’s manifesto in 2018, saying the “stupid manifesto” had forced them to backtrack on good decisions, like making Mahathir the education minister.

Mahathir had initially named himself as the education minister before dropping the post on grounds that the manifesto stipulated the prime minister will not simultaneously hold other ministerial posts, especially the post of finance minister.

Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.