Three of Malaysia’s biggest coalitions have revealed their manifestos for the 15th General Election (GE15), and those documents are over 200 pages long combined
It could be daunting for voters to go through the coalitions’ pledges in their entirety.
So, to get you up to speed, SAYS has compiled about 50 pledges of interest from Barisan Nasional (BN), Pakatan Harapan (PH), and Perikatan Nasional (PN) that are most likely to affect the general public, and to help you decide which coalition to vote for.
These are the only three coalitions that have put forward a prime minister candidate, discounting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Pejuang as it is not a coalition and has yet to release its manifesto as of today, 10 November.
Below are the highlights of the pledges from each coalition:
1. Barisan Nasional (BN)
Image via Free Malaysia Today
Prime Minister candidate: Datuk Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob
Coalition chairman: Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Component parties: UMNO, MCA, MIC, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party (MMSP), Malaysian Indian Progressive Front (IPF), Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma), Malaysian United Indian Party (MUIP), Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM), and Parti Punjabi Malaysia (PPM).
Manifesto title: ‘Perancangan Amal dan Usaha’ or PADU
Number of pages: 48
On the cost of living
1. Eradicate absolute poverty through the Assistive Basic Income Scheme which is credited every month automatically to all households with a monthly income below RM2,208 by the year 2025, in addition to continuing other assistance programs for various eligible groups.
2. Provide a 2% income tax cut targeted at the M40 group, for those earning between RM50,000 and RM100,000 per year.
On political systems and governance
3. Explore the devolution of power from the Federal Government to the State Government to increase efficiency and strengthen the spirit of Federalism.
4. Separate the roles and functions of the Attorney-General and Public Prosecutor to eliminate conflict of interest.
5. Establish a Parliamentary Special Select Committee for recommending and vetting key national positions such as the MACC Chief Commissioner, EC Chairman, and Bank Negara Governor.
6. Explore the use of blockchain technology towards creating a single and integrated identification system (ID card, licence, insurance/takaful, Touch ‘n Go, and others).
7. Strengthen the Islamic legal system and the Syariah courts by enhancing the position and independence of the Syariah judiciary to be on par with the Civil Court.
8. Enhance the quality, access, and expertise in our public health system by doubling the annual allocation from RM36 billion to RM77 billion (5% of GDP) by 2027.
9. Construct more specialist hospitals for specific medical disciplines, such as infectious diseases and mental health.
10. Provide free national early childhood care and education for all children six years of age and under, substantially reducing the cost of living for young families.
11. Introduce the teaching of 21st-century smart skills, such as programming (coding), creativity, and basic communication languages, such as Mandarin, Tamil, Iban, Kadazan, Dusun, and other ethnic languages in all schools.
12. Textbook-free schools with the provision of free laptops to all B40 students.
13. Expand 100% 5G Internet coverage and public Wi-Fi networks to all schools within 18 months.
14. Promote teaching as a preferred and highly prestigious profession by introducing a special scheme for the best talents in addition to increasing the number of Master Teachers by 10%.
15. Provide free higher education to all individuals from B40 families, as a long-term poverty eradication plan.
16. Reduce the cost of higher education by up to 50% through the introduction of a flexible higher education system (50% on campus and 50% online/distance learning).
17. Encourage students to take a gap year to fulfil their personal aspirations and interests, including contributing to society.
18. Grant full autonomy to public Higher Education Institutions (IPTA).
19. Introduce the income-contingent PTPTN loan, with repayment starting only after graduates have worked for one year.
20. Expand PTPTN funding to 100% (full loan) for students from the M40 group and below.
On jobs and young adults
21. Paid holiday on employee’s birthday, as a measure to appreciate the contribution of employees.
22. Enact the Dependent Contractor Act immediately to protect the rights, welfare, and income of gig workers, e-hailing drivers, food delivery drivers, and other non-formal workers.
23. Actively involve local authorities in the efforts to provide more affordable homes for sale or rent in their respective areas.
24. Expand the coverage of the Housing Credit Guarantee Scheme (HCGS) to provide more government guarantees on housing loans to help borrowers without a fixed income.
25. Provide sufficient affordable homes for Malaysians so that those who qualify can afford to own affordable homes, in addition to increasing the “rent-to-own” programs.
On foreign direct investment (FDI)
26. Set limits on GLC investment and involvement in certain industries to prevent GLCs from crowding out opportunities for private companies.
27. Carry out a comprehensive reform of immigration laws and regulations by introducing various types of visas to attract investors, the best talents, and skilled workers to live, work, and contribute productively to Malaysia.
On need-based policy
28. Allocate RM10 million per year to provide travel vouchers to the disabled via e-hailing services.
29. Establish a Cabinet Committee for Human Dignity (INSANI) to resolve all cases of children born out of wedlock and undocumented children in addition to upholding their right to education.
30. Achieve zero absolute and hardcore poverty by 2025.
31. Enforce harsher punishments for the offence of drunk driving or driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
On women’s rights
32. Establish an Anti-Sexual Harassment Tribunal and conduct a needs assessment to establish a Gender Equality Tribunal.
33. Amend the Federal Constitution and the related laws to uphold citizenship rights for children born to Malaysian women abroad.
34. Provide one-off RM500 cash assistance to Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia recipient mothers who have given birth.
35. Provide tax deductions for companies that uphold gender and ethnic diversity in management.
36. Provide tax deduction incentives to employers who introduce flexible working hours for working mothers.
37. Establish the first Women’s Public Specialist Hospital (HAWA) as a hospital specialising in women’s health issues.
38. Establish the first Women’s Public University.
39. Provide full income tax exemptions for five years for all women who return to the workforce after a career break.
On the environment
40. Implement stricter environmental laws with a fine of up to RM10 million for offenders, which will be designated to fund pollution treatment costs.
41. Remove approved permits (AP) for electric vehicles (EV) to increase access to affordable eco-friendly vehicles.
42. Ensure 100% of public transport services and official Government vehicles are environmentally friendly by 2030.
43. Establish a special fund to help victims of natural disasters which happen as a result of environmental pollution.
44. Increase Malaysia’s forest cover to 60% of the land surface, with the cooperation of the State Governments.
45. BN also promises to appoint two Deputy Prime Ministers, one each from Sabah and Sarawak.
46. BN also promises to see through the passing of the Budget 2024.
Click here to read BN’s full GE15 manifesto.
2. Pakatan Harapan (PH)
Image via Kwong Wah Daily
Prime Minister candidate: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Coalition leader: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Component parties: PKR, DAP, Amanah, United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO), and MUDA as an allied party
Manifesto title: ‘Kita Boleh’
Number of pages: 98
(The pledges in the list below are shortened to only include the important messages and are not taken verbatim.)
On the cost of living
1. Eliminate cartels in the sectors of food and essential supplies to encourage competition while also eradicating profiteering.
2. Work closely with suppliers to ensure sufficient food supplies, especially during festive seasons to ensure continuous supply and low prices.
3. Provide incentives to increase the production of food and basic essentials. This is a long-term solution to alleviate market pressures caused by rising prices.
4. The PH administration reduced the toll rate by 18% for the North-South Expressway (PLUS) and the East-Coast Expressway Phase 2 (LPT 2). PH will continue reducing PLUS tolls gradually with the ultimate goal of eliminating tolls and returning PLUS highway to public ownership.
On eradicating poverty
5. Provide micro-credit financing for vulnerable demographics to participate in economic opportunities and free themselves from the vicious poverty cycle through fund injections from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia and Yayasan Usaha Maju.
6. Continue the Bantuan Sara Hidup programme to help overcome living costs.
7. Provide affordable homes for ownership, rental, low-cost and medium-cost, and transit housing for localities that need them.
8. Build up more Klinik Kesihatan in high-density areas and areas with high poverty incidence to improve community health access.
9. A structured minimum wage policy plan to achieve the status of a high-income nation.
10. Establish a regulatory body to implement social security schemes for six million gig workers to deal with contract agreements, free life insurance schemes, and funeral compensation amounting to RM10,000.
11. Extend the provision of special allowance to those who have lost their jobs as contract workers. Applicable to those who are actively seeking new employment.
On house ownership
12. Provide an adequate amount of affordable homes for purchase rental, low-cost, and medium-cost in localities that need them most.
13. PH will reintroduce a RM3 billion JaminPinjam fund to guarantee financing homes for first-time buyers of affordable housing.
14. PH will expand the 100% stamp duty exemption for first-time homeowners for properties below RM500,000 to also cover sub-sale unit ownership.
On issues concerning the youth
15. PH will introduce the B40 scholarship to help reduce dependency on loans, such as PTPTN, for low-income families.
16. Kad Belia cardholders, eligible to those aged between 13 and 25, will be able to enjoy promotions and discounts at selected businesses.
17. Kembara Siswa will be introduced to help students who wish to return to their hometown, especially during festive seasons. Flight tickets to Sabah or Sarawak from Peninsular Malaysia and vice versa will be fixed at RM199 for students.
18. Guarantee freedom for youths to participate in activism and encourage the establishment of social and welfare bodies spearheaded by the youth.
19. Young workers aged between 18 and 30 under Human Resource Development Corporation to receive RM500 for training courses.
20. Implementing a policy of ‘No Discrimination, No Rejection’ for all registrations into the TVET system.
On women and children’s rights
21. Every newborn will be given cash benefits that will be deposited monthly to the parents’ account up to six years old with this universal child benefits initiative.
22. Amending Article 14(1)(b) and 15(2) in the Constitution to guarantee citizenship for any child born in or outside Malaysia to either a Malaysian mother or father regardless of race and religion. The amendments will also include automatic citizenship for adopted children.
23. Setting up a child rights committee at civil and Syariah courts to help children solve various court issues such as child marriage, custodial rights, and visitation rights.
24. PH will resume efforts outlined in the National Strategic Plan in Handling Causes of Child Marriage 2025, as implemented in January 2020.
25. Every bill presented in parliament will be guaranteed to possess gender inclusivity elements.
26. The nomination of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner must be vetted by a bipartisan Parliamentary Special Committee for a truly neutral candidate who will not protect the interests of any specific party.
27. PH intends to continue the asset declaration practice for all ministers, members of parliament, senior civil servants, GLC chairmen, as well as all spouses and close family members aged 18 years old and above.
On freedom of expression
28. PH will introduce the Freedom of Information Act and limit the implementation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA), except only for matters that can potentially threaten the security of the nation.
29. PH will guarantee freedom of media by reigniting efforts to establish a Media Council and amending the Printing Press Act.
30. Reviewing and repealing draconian provisions of acts that can be abused to restrict free speech, such as the Sedition Act 1948, the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, and the Printing Press and Publications Act 1984.
31. Establishing an independent, professional, and transparent film board that will comprise industry members, artists, and members of civil society who have the proper credentials to regulate films and improve existing structures.
On political systems and governance
32. Set a 10-year term limit for Prime Ministers, Menteri Besar, and Chief Ministers.
33. Separating the roles and responsibilities of the Public Prosecutor from the Attorney General to reinforce the freedom of public prosecutors. The Attorney General only acts as the government’s legal advisor.
34. The nomination for roles such as the Public Prosecutor, primary positions in the MACC, Election Commission of Malaysia, and the Inspector-General of Police must be vetted by a Special Parliamentary Committee that is made up of members from various parties.
35. PH to push for the Fixed Parliament Term Act to avoid the negative effects on investor confidence and economic stability. Elections will only be called for at the end of the term.
36. PH will provide equal constituency development funds (CDF) for members of parliament regardless of their party. The allocation must be declared at the parliament and not with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
36. Increase the public healthcare expenditure to 5% of GDP in five years in order to keep up with the national population growth, increase in lifespan, and current needs.
38. To solve the contract doctors conundrum, PH will set up a National Health Services Commission to reinforce the management of human resources, staffing, training, and career growth of healthcare staff.
39. Efforts will be made to reduce the waiting periods for receiving health services.
40. Expand the coverage of the mySalam program to the M40 group. This program will cover critical illnesses and admission to the hospital for coverage of health assessment and mental healthcare including counselling.
41. Hasten the amendment of Section 309 Penal Code to decriminalise suicide attempts.
42. Invest more attention into increasing mental healthcare on a holistic approach, which includes insurance schemes that cover mental health issues.
43. Fair allocation for different schools regardless if they are Sekolah Kebangsaan, Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC), Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT), Sekolah Berasrama Penuh, Maktab Rendah Sains MARA, Sekolah Agama Bantuan Kerajaan, and many more.
44. Continue efforts to recognise UEC as a general requirement for Public Higher Education Institutes (IPTA) with the condition that applicants possess at least a credit in Bahasa Melayu for their SPM results.
45. Introduce the Targeted PTPTN Loans Forgiveness initiative for B40 households.
46. More scholarships will be introduced for the B40 group to help them reduce dependency on PTPTN loans.
47. Ensure more high-achieving SPM & STPM graduates are provided the opportunity to continue their studies in Public Higher Education Institutions (IPTAs).
On East Malaysia
48. Two (2) Deputy Prime Ministers will be appointed, one from the Borneo regions and one from the Peninsular.
49. PH to push for revenue sharing between East and West Malaysia. Implementation of 40% of Sabah regional revenue to be returned based on the original formula of Article 112C and Subsection 2(1) Part IV of the Tenth Schedule in the Federal Constitution. For Sarawak, a review must be made as stated under Article 112D Section 3, which is every five years.
50. Ensuring that 35% of parliament representatives are from Sabah and Sarawak.
Click here to read PH’s full GE15 manifesto.
3. Perikatan Nasional (PN)
Image via Free Malaysia Today
Prime Minister candidate: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Coalition leader: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Component parties: Bersatu, PAS, Gerakan, as well as Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR), the latter two are also members of coalition Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)
Manifesto name: ‘Prihatin, Bersih, Stabil’, or PN BEST
Number of pages: 52
On economic recovery and aiding the poor
1. Allocate a RM5 billion special fund to encourage foreign investment and make Malaysia an attractive market in Southeast Asia.
2. Make MyPrihatin the one-stop centre and database for the delivery of financial aid to people in need.
3. Introduce the Prihatin Nasional card initiative that gives people free access to selected health services at private clinics and government hospitals.
4. Implement free bus services to schools and childcare centres for the poor.
5. Create 1,000,000 high-paying jobs in the digital economy sector in five years.
6. Create new domestic products and attractions in Malaysia with an RM1 billion special tourism fund.
7. Distribute a special gig workers incentive worth RM1,000 to allow them to continue studying at higher education institutions.
8. Introduce a well-planned and comprehensive fisherman development scheme to improve the standard of living of fishermen.
9. Increase the income and welfare of small farmers through the modernisation of the rubber industry.
10. A more effective SME loan moratorium to help small traders.
11. One-year free Internet for digital startups to encourage technological innovation.
12. Implement the young entrepreneur programme in the digital economy industry.
On food security
13. Allocate a RM1 billion fund with a low-interest rate to help farmers increase food production in the country and stabilise food prices.
14. Establish six food production mega hubs throughout the country to stabilise food prices.
On the judiciary system and corruption
15. Empower the Syariah and judicial system.
16. The national anti-corruption plan will be strengthened and dedicated courts that deal with corruption will be established.
17. Banning political donations from abroad to protect national sovereignty.
18. Establish high-speed Internet in classrooms & teachers’ offices in all schools nationwide.
19. Allocate RM50 million a year for the development of infrastructure and syllabi for students with special educational needs.
20. Provide access to digital devices for students across the country.
21. Improve the natural disaster and climate change response agency so that it can deal with floods and other disasters more effectively.
22. Allocate a special fund for Tahfiz schools to allow students to participate in TVET classes.
23. Provide laptops for all teachers in the Ministry of Education to facilitate teaching and learning tasks.
24. Allocate RM2.5 billion per year for school maintenance for the period of 2023 to 2025.
25. Improve the capacity and expertise of special education service centres throughout the country.
26. Allocate some budget for one-off initial study financial aid for new students enrolling in higher education institutions.
27. Provide fast Internet access nationwide and guarantee affordable 5G service charges.
28. Establish training programmes for people with disability after school to prepare them to
enter the job market.
On highway and water supply
29. Accelerate the construction of the Pan-Borneo Highway.
30. Reduce highway congestion by accelerating the use of gateless toll systems and add extra lanes at congested locations.
31. Allocate a special fund to upgrade and solve water supply problems throughout the country.
On civil servants
32. The cost of living assistance (COLA) for civil servants will increase by RM100 and will be
33. Civil servants will receive a special additional annual salary increase of RM100 per month in 2023.
34. Allocate RM2.5 billion a year to maintain government quarters throughout the country between 2023 and 2025.
35. Budget allocation for the Ministry of Health will raise to 5% of the country’s GDP in stages to
strengthen the quality of health services.
36. Provide a special tax relief of RM3,000 to promote a healthy lifestyle among Malaysians.
On East Malaysia
37. Hasten the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
38. Establish new public universities in Sabah and Sarawak.
39. The payment from the petroleum revenue will be directly distributed to the state
governments based on the Petroleum Development Act 1974.
On empowering the youth
40. Establish affordable youth micro-housing schemes in major cities.
41. Increase the Senator quota for youth.
42. Introduce a 25% PTPTN repayment discount to second-class graduates above.
On improving the communities
43. Establish unity sports and community centres in every district.
44. Establish a new FELDA vision to guarantee the future of the young generation in the FELDA areas.
On issues concerning women, senior citizens, and children
45. The DanaNITA initiative will offer interest-free loans up to RM20,000 to female entrepreneurs.
46. The elderly department will be established to ensure the well-being of the senior citizens.
47. Strengthen the law to protect the rights of women and children.
48. Establish a special PN committee that is made up of experts to monitor and ensure that all pledges are fully implemented.
Click here to read PN’s full GE15 manifesto.
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