This is a question which few people have tried to address systematically. In this article, I want to highlight what I think will be the five main challenges facing a Pakatan federal government as a way to contextualise the policy options which such a government will have to address.
I have summarised these five main challenges into five 'P's:
- Dealing with the 'Past'.
- Distributing 'Power' between the federal and state governments.
- Coming up with a new set of 'Plans' in the economic, political and social arenas.
- Focusing on a smaller number of 'Priorities' which can be delivered within 100 days and one year.
- Finding a set of 'Procedures' to deal with disagreements within the Pakatan coalition.
Having been in power for 55 years, there are bound to be a whole list of ‘legacy' issues which a new government has to figure out how to deal with.
It would not be practical for a new federal government to conduct a massive witch-hunt to weed out all those who have paid bribes to the previous government to obtain contracts, to find evidence to convict all BN politicians who have received bribes or have amassed wealth beyond their means or to sack all civil servants who have been complicit in corrupt deals involving the previous government.
But at the same time, it makes sense for a Pakatan government to outline a clear set of rules with regard to how it will, for example, deal with dubious contracts which the government has signed with private companies.
This is important because there is a great temptation for Pakatan to blame the previous BN government for many of the problems that it will face when it is governing. Instead of blaming BN in an ad-hoc manner throughout its first term in government, it would be better for Pakatan to outline a place to clear out the skeletons in the cupboard early in its tenure in power.
Pakatan has already given some indication as to the contracts it will attempt to cancel or renegotiate when it comes to power, namely the contracts with toll operators and independent power producers.
There are bound to be many other smaller contracts which are potentially disadvantageous to the government which could be renegotiated or cancelled. The criteria for contract renegotiation or cancellation need to be spelled out as soon as possible as a way of assuring the markets and the many companies which have large contracts with the government.
Similarly, Pakatan needs to figure out the extent to which it wants to change the government procurement process.
It will be a tricky balancing act since many of the current contractors have well-established relationships with Umno, who are also Malay entrepreneurs who will question Pakatan's commitment to protecting Malay entrepreneurship if they are cut off from these government contracts.
At the same time, this also presents an opportunity to introduce open-tender processes that could potentially save the government billions of ringgit in expenditure.
More important than mere contracts is the fate of those who wrongly benefitted from the awarding of these contracts and other government-related concessions and favours.
To what extent will a Pakatan government go after the likes of Tajudin Ramli (right), those involved in PKFZ (Port Klang Free Zone), NFC (National Feedlot Corporation) and the Scorpene submarine scandals? Will a Pakatan government try to recover as much revenue as possible and will it try to convict the individuals involved in these scandals as well?
Similar questions surround the fate of BN politicians who may have amassed ill-gotten gains through their government positions. Will Pakatan go after the ill-gotten gains of the individuals in question or will it also go after the individuals in question? Is there a cut-off mark under which some cases may not be investigated?
Here, it may be useful to establish an equivalent of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee established in South Africa after the abolishment of apartheid. In exchange for amnesty, politicians, civil servants and even businessmen who have amassed ill-gotten gains can use this platform to ‘confess' their past wrongdoing and return a percentage of their wealth to the taxpayers.
Similar actions can be taken by individuals who want to blow the whistle on themselves and admit to past wrongdoing, not just in terms of financial gain but also in terms of other past abuses of power including granting citizenship to foreigners to allow them to vote, wrongfully jailing innocent victims, beating up protestors, just to name a few.
This may be a cathartic experience for the nation for past mistakes to be revealed and for the nation to move on and firmly establish itself as a democratic nation with regular alternations in power.
The question is, will a Pakatan government subject itself to the same levels of scrutiny, including admission of past mistakes among those in Pakatan who were formerly high-ranking politicians in the BN government?
2. Re-distributing power
The second major challenge to a Pakatan government is in the re-allocation of power between the federal government and the states.
Right now, the Pakatan state governments in Kelantan, Kedah, Penang and Selangor say that their hands are tied because of the lack of funding and cooperation from the federal government on key issues including the consolidation of water assets and pricing, the consolidation of wage management, the responsibility for public transportation and road maintenance and the proper allocation of federal funding including the oil royalties paid to Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak.
With a Pakatan government at the federal level, such excuses will no longer be valid. A Pakatan federal government will have to pick the low-hanging fruit in terms of distributing power and funds back to the states in areas which are clearly defined to be under state jurisdiction.
This may not be as easy as it sounds. Even increasing the oil royalty from 5 percent to 20 percent will entail a redistribution of as much as RM10 billion ringgit from the federal government to the states. Hard decisions will have to be made with regard to where some of these cuts have to be made at the federal level.
Other issues concerning decentralisation of power from the federal to the state governments, a cornerstone of Pakatan's promises both in the Buku Jingga (Orange Book) and more recently in the Tawaran Jingga (Orange Offer), will require achieving an internal consensus within Pakatan.
DAP will want to push for the restoration of local council elections, something which PAS and PKR seem lukewarm about. PAS will want to push for the implementation of hudud, especially in the states which it controls, especially Kelantan. Needless to say, DAP will object to this vehemently.
A Pakatan federal government would also be under some pressure to apply some of these decentralisation measures consistently among the states, including those governed by the BN.
For example, it would be inconsistent for the BN to give an increased share of oil royalties to Kelantan but not to the BN-governed states of Terengganu, Sarawak and Sabah. Nor would it be consistent for Pakatan to promise to pass this money back to these states on the condition that voters in these states vote in Pakatan state governments.
It actually makes long-term sense for a Pakatan federal government to decentralise as much as is economically and politically plausible as an insurance policy in the likelihood that it loses control of the federal government in the future.
Having greater democracy and decentralised power means that the states and local authorities which Pakatan still controls can have more independence and hopefully, be more effective as well.
3. New set of plans
While one can question their effectiveness, there is less doubt that Prime Minister Najib Razak has put in place a comprehensive transformation plans to address various shortcomings in the political, economic and social arenas.
Most politically aware Malaysians are already familiar with the alphabet soup which is associated with Najib's transformation programmes - 1Malaysia, ETP, GTP, NEM, PTP - even if they are unsure about the achievements of these programmes.
Pakatan is not likely to follow in Najib's footsteps in designing a similar ‘transformation' programme but it will still need to come up with concrete and well-thought-out plans of its own in order to shape the country's political, economic and social agenda according to the vision and philosophy of Pakatan and its leaders.
Pakatan is better placed in some areas to deliver substantive positive change compared to the BN.
It would be relatively easy for Pakatan to deliver on promises of reform in terms of political rights and civil liberties by abolishing any laws which allow for detention without trial such as the Security Offences Special Measures Act (Sosma), abolish the need to have a permit to print a newspaper and to allow political parties to have a presence in university campuses, just to name a few.
But Pakatan would also have to resist the temptation of using their power in order to intimidate and threaten the mainstream media newspapers and television which are owned or closely associated with BN parties. Similarly, it also needs to resist the temptation of using RTM1 and 2 as a government mouthpiece.
Pakatan can also deliver significant institutional reform such as making the Election Commission (EC) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) independent and allowing them to carry out their jobs without political interference.
It would also have to tackle the tricky task of reforming the police force including finding new roles for existing Special Branch officers, assuming that their services will no longer be needed or needed less often. It is also needs to strengthen the civil service's resolve to be professional and accountable rather than to force it to change its political allegiance from BN to Pakatan.
In terms of the economy, Pakatan will have to find new sources of economic growth as well as enhancing current sources of growth. Some of this can be realised by the freeing up of certain monopolies so that competitive forces can be released in currently protected sectors.
Other initiatives require a longer time period to come to fruition such as increasing the innovation and R&D (research and development) capacity in the country. One way in which this process can be expedited is to tap on the large Malaysian diaspora, some of whom may be interested to come back and invest their time, expertise and money under a new non-BN federal government.
One of the biggest policy areas for Pakatan to tackle would be in education since this is something which almost all Malaysians care about and where there is a widespread consensus that something drastic needs to be done in order to arrest the decline in the standard of public education in the country.
Pakatan has said that it would respect the rights of vernacular (Mandarin and Tamil) and religious schools to flourish in the country. It will have its hands full in taking on the civil service as well as some within the Pakatan who do not want to strengthen vernacular and religious education, especially in allowing more Chinese primary and independent secondary schools to be established.
These are only a few of the key policy questions which Pakatan has to address if it comes to power at the federal level. The list can easily be longer. Pakatan's challenge is to design a strategic plan or plans in order to fulfill a set of political, economic and social goals.
4. Urgent priorities
Not all of the plans outlined above can be fulfilled in a short period of time. Some may even take more than one term to deliver the desired results. Pakatan does not have the luxury of taking its time to deliver once it is in control of the federal government.
It needs to prioritise its various objectives so that some immediate quick wins can be given the proper focus.
Some of Pakatan's promises in its first 100 days in government have already been outlined in the Buku Jingga such as providing free Wifi to the rural areas in the country and abolishing certain corporate subsidies such as the gas subsidy to the independent power producers (IPPs).
These deliverables may have to be adjusted if a Pakatan federal government realises that some of the initiatives may take longer than 100 days to fulfill.
It is important for Pakatan to show it can deliver concrete results and initiatives early in its administration so that it can build momentum for other initiatives later on. Without clear, focused priorities, Pakatan may fall into the trap of wanting to do too much but failing to deliver anything significant in a timely manner.
5. Procedures to overcome disagreements
Finally, Pakatan will have to come up with certain procedures, both formal and informal, for dealing with disagreements between the Pakatan component parties on key policy issues. I have already pointed out that local government elections and hudud are two potential flashpoints within the Pakatan.
There is no doubt that other controversial disagreements will emerge from within the Pakatan coalition. Unlike the BN, where Umno can dominate and control major policy directions, the parties within the Pakatan coalition are much more equal in terms of stature and also control of parliament and state seats.
Even though the prime minister from Pakatan, most likely Anwar Ibrahim, will yield considerable power, it would be difficult for him to ride roughshod over his component party members in the same way as for example, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, within the BN context.
The Pakatan supreme council needs to be strengthened and proper procedures identified in order to solve conflicts emerging from within Pakatan on issues of national and sub-national importance.
Just the tip of the iceberg
This article has barely scratched the surface of what a Pakatan government may look like and the main challenges which it will face as a new ruling coalition.
But hopefully, it has been helpful in outlining the major issues of contention and providing some guidelines as to how these challenges may be addresses so that Pakatan can effectively deliver positive change to the country.- Ong Kian Meng, malaysiakini
Aku pula percaya kalau PR menang ini akan berlaku...
1.Najib dan Rosmah akan pindah ke Kazakhtan,tinggal bersama2 dengan menantunya.
2.Muhyiddin akan membaca yasin tiap2 malam berdoa agar dia tidak dirumahkan di Sungai Buloh.
3. Mahathir will take the first flight available to Zimbabwe untuk bersama adik angkatnya Robert Mugabe.
4.Menteri2 kerajaan lama termasuk Nazri,Noh Omar dll., akan berpindah ke London,New York dan Paris.
5. Tinggal saki bakinya pula akan masuk kelab katak,ambil tempat Ibrahim Katak, Zul Nordin dan menyatakan sokongan kepada kerajaan baru.
Najib dan Hukum karma...
Hukum karma ini agak senang untuk difahami - apa yang kita semai, itulah yang kita tuai. Kalau kita menyemai padi, maka padilah yang akan kita tuai. Jika kita menanam budi, maka kebaikanlah yang kita terima. Konsep hukum karma ini jika kita perhatikan kelihatan memiliki persamaan dengan konsep dosa dan pahala.
Karma adalah perkataan Sanskrit sama seperti asal-usul perkataan dosa dan pahala. Dalam Islam, dosa dan pahala hanya akan dihitung sesudah kita wafat. Manakala hukum karma ini berlaku dimuka bumi ini ketika kita masih hidup.
Contohnya: jika manusia meneruskan merosakkan alam - menebang hutan tropika - maka hukum karma akan sampai. Suhu kepanasan akan meningkat. Air batu dan salji di Kutub Utara akan cair. Akhirnya banyak kawasan bumi subur akan menjadi padang pasir dan manusia akan dilanda kebuluran.
Jika kita terus membuang plastik merata-rata, maka dunia kita yang sebuah ini akan tercemar. Sungai akan menjadi kotor bertoksik. Ikan akan mati. Akhirnya hukum karma akan sampai kepada diri kita kembali.
Saya hanya ingin menerangkan bahawa apa sahaja yang kita lakukan ketika kita menjadi warga alam ini pasti akan membawa padah. Ada balasan baik dan ada balasan buruk.
Minggu ini saya terbaca satu laporan dari akhbar New York Post tentang anak menantu Perdana Menteri Malaysia. Berita yang sama juga keluar dalam akhbar The Daily Mail kota London. Ini berita sensasi yang melaporkan tentang menantu Najib Razak yang baru berumur 24 tahun ini adalah seorang kaki kelentong dan kaki putar alam.
Dilaporkan bahawa, Daniyar Nazarbayev ini telah menipu kelulusan sekolah untuk memasuki sebuah universiti tersohor di Amerika.
Lebih memeranjatkan lagi ialah, menantu Najib Razak ini juga terlibat dalam kes penipuan jual beli kondo yang bernilai RM 60 juta di New York. Ini kes tipu besar.
Sebenarnya, kes tipu surat sekolah, tipu surat beli rumah atau kondo bukan sesuatu yang memeranjatkan. Apa yang menjadi berita ialah si Daniyar ini telah bertunang dengan anak dara Najib yang ditemui ketika sesama belajar diuniversiti.
Kisah saman penipuan jualbeli kondo di New York ini meledak menjadi berita dunia kerana si Nooryana yang bermulut besar ini adalah anak perempuan kepada Perdana Menteri Malaysia.
Kalau tidak kerana si Daniyar ini anak menantu Najib, kes kelentong dan kes tipu jual beli kondo ini tidak akan menjadi berita dunia. Yang menjadikan ianya berita dunia ialah terkaitnya nama Najib Razak Perdana Menteri Malaysia.
Tidak cukup dengan berita 'tipu beli kondo' - akhbar ini juga melaporkan bahawa si Daniyar dan ibunya telah menyamar sebagai Daniyar Nazarbayev dan Maira Nazarbayev. Sebenarnya si Maira ini tidak ada sangkut paut lagi dengan bekas suaminya Bolat Nazarbayev.
Si Ibu dan si Anak ini dengan cepat dan licik telah menukar nama mereka menjadi Nazarbayev. Ini kerana nama Nazarbayev ini berkait rapat dengan nama keluarga Presiden Kazakhtan yang bernama Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Kebelakangan ini Najib Razak walaupun telah banyak membuat 'pengumuman', tetapi masih lagi dianggap seorang Perdana Menteri yang lemah. Bekas Perdana Menteri Mahathir Mohamad telah dua kali secara terbuka mengatakan bahawa Najib ini lemah.
Dihadapan ketua-ketua bahagian United Malays National Organisation Kedah dan Johor, Mahathir telah menyatakan bahawa kerajaan pentabiran Najib Razak ini amat lemah.
Dalam bulan Ogos tahun lalu, akhbar terbesar Kompas dari Jakarta telah melaporkan bahawa si Maira besan kepada Najib dan Rosmah ini ada berkaitan dengan Mafia Rusia.
Berita ini telah menggegarkan katil Najib dan Rosmah. Ketua pengarang Kompas telah dipanggil datang ke Putrajaya untuk menerangkan duduk berita.
Awal tahun ini pula satu Malaysia telah gempar dengan berita bahawa Tuan Hakim sebuah mahkamah di Perancis akan memanggil Najib Razak ke Paris sebagai saksi. Mengikut laporan media, Najib Razak diperlukan sebagai saksi dalam kes jual beli kapal selam Scorpene.
Di Perancis, syarikat DCNS - pembuat kapal selam ini sedang menghadapi tuduhan rasuah. Pihak pendakwa memerlukan Najib Razak menjadi saksi kerana pada ketika perjanjian jual beli ini dimeteraikan - Najib ialah Menteri Pertahanan.
Apabila saya membaca berita-berita ini, saya merasakan semua ini adalah hukum karma. Saya kini menjadi yakin bahawa hukum karma sedang datang bertalu-talu menghempap Najib Razak.
Kalau mengikut falsafah dan konsep hukum karma - apa yang kita tanam - itu yang kita tuai - maka semua ini memaksa saya berfikir dalam untuk melihat apakah sebenarnya yang telah dilakukan oleh Najib Razak sehingga dia bertalu-talu dipukul oleh hukum karma. Saya ingin mencari sebab musabab yang menyebabkan hukum karma ini sampai.
Dari surah orang politik yang dulunya satu pasukan dengan Najib, kini orang besar dalam Parti Keadilan Rakyat, saya pernah diberitahu bahawa Najib Razak ini seorang politikus yang amat berhati-hati. Malah bulan lalu Najib sendiri telah membuat kenyataan bahawa dia hanya membuat keputusan setelah memikirkan satu-satu pekara dengan masak.
Kenyataan ini dibuat apabila ditanya wartawan tentang tarikh PRU13.
Jika kita perhatikan, semenjak Najib mengambil alih dari Abdullah Badawi, dia tidak banyak membuat apa-apa kenyataan yang boleh dilihat kontroversi. Malah kalau dibandingkan dengan Abdullah Badawi, si Najib ini lebih banyak membisu dari bersuara.
Justeru, saya bertanya pada diri saya sendiri - apa Daniyar Nazarbayev ini juga sedang menikam Najib Razak sebagai hukum karma? Mungkin apa yang saya tulis ini tidak masuk akal. Malah ada yang akan menganggap saya sedang menyebarkan fahaman khurafat.
Kepada yang tidak percaya dengan hukum karma, tulisan ini tidak akan membawa apa-apa makna. Kepada yang percaya, saya ingin menerangkan bahawa, apa yang saya tulis ini hanya dari apa yang saya tahu dan dari apa yang saya baca. Tidak lebih dari itu. Hishamuddin Rais.
Baca seterusnya di sini.
Zahid Dan Najib Berdebar Menanti Sepina Dari Mahkamah Perancis