Don’t make promises you can’t keep

“If we do not fulfil our promises, we do not deserve to be the government.”

This is what former prime minister Najib Razak said when hitting out at Pakatan Harapan (PH) over fuel prices and the announcement of a dividend of 1.25% by Tabung Haji.

To quote Shakespeare, these are good sentences and well pronounced. It explains, in not so many words, why Barisan Nasional (BN) did not deserve to be the government after the 14th general election.

Please tell me what has happened to the long-abandoned SMK Nabalu project which then-education minister Mahdzir Khalid promised on May 27, 2017.

The project was abandoned in 2014 when Najib was the prime minister.

What happened to the hospital that was supposed to be built in Penampang?

And what about the geothermal power plant that was supposed to be operational by December 2017 but has since been abandoned?

There are numerous examples of promises made to Sabah by the BN-led government that were never fulfilled, but it would take more than one letter to list all the broken promises.

And it is not restricted to the non-delivery of roads, bridges, affordable homes, water and electricity supply to rural areas in Sabah. There was also the promise to abolish draconian laws.

Is Najib therefore convincing? To some perhaps. But to the majority that went to the polls on May 9, the election results say it all.

Why therefore bother with promises if you cannot honour them?

It doesn’t matter if you are BN or PH. The principle is still the same. If you know that there are situations beyond your control or that you were not in a position to do anything about a problem that needs a solution, why give rise to false hopes?

What have you achieved except to take your audience down the yellow brick road? To say that you were unaware of how serious the state of our finances was when you made a promise shows that you were blindly making a promise as is the case with the PH government.

Is ignorance a reasonable and fair excuse? To some it would be, I suppose.

For whatever reason, it would be useless for Najib to continue accusing PH of not living up to its promises, especially not when he has been living in a glass house.

Politics, it is said, is the art of the impossible. Of that, there is no doubt.

Especially so now when we can see it’s becoming impossible to believe politicians and their promises.

Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.