Tuesday 28 August 2012

Najib is a broken record, says Pakatan

Najib should engage in intelligent arguments over Pakatan Rakyat’s policies rather than just warning about the opposition's sweet promises, say Pakatan leaders.

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s incessant warnings to Malaysians to not fall for the opposition’s “sweet promises” proves Barisan Nasional cannot shoot Pakatan Rakyat down via intelligent arguments, opposition leaders said today.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said that Najib was being a “broken record” by constantly cautioning the public against falling for Pakatan’s “sweet promises”, adding that it would only backfire on the government.
“Barisan Nasional always says the same things when criticising the opposition – that our policies are sweet promises, that it will bankrupt the nation…

“But what the public actually wants to hear are intelligent arguments backed up with numbers. I think that is the expectation,” Rafizi told FMT.

“Instead, all he [Najib] can say is that our policies cannot be implemented. He knows he is facing a public that is convinced Pakatan can deliver on economic problems, so he’s just trying to plant some seeds of doubt in the public’s mind.”

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng echoed Rafizi’s view, adding that instead of cautioning the public over Pakatan’s policies, Najib should accept PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s challenge to a debate to prove the opposition’s pledges had no basis.

“Why cannot Najib accept Anwar’s challenge to a debate? Only then can we compare promises to promises, policy to policy, personal leadership skills to personal leadership skills,” he said.

“Pakatan’s record speaks for itself. So the ball is in Najib’s court,” he added.

They said this when asked to comment on a Bernama report, which quoted the prime minister as saying yesterday that the people should not be easily fooled by the sweet promises of the opposition political parties.

BN copying Pakatan’s ‘sweet promises’

But Rafizi revealed the irony in Najib’s line of reasoning by pointing out that BN was copying the same “sweet promises” of Pakatan it was criticising.

“On the one hand, BN says [Pakatan’s policies] cannot be implemented, but at the same time, they are quietly copying our ideas to appease the people,” Rafizi said.

“You can see them [BN] trying to reduce toll, and now they’re are trying to lower car prices.”

Rafizi was referring to an article in The Star last week, which quoted industry sources as saying that the revised National Automative Policy (NAP) will include a policy that will address the gradual reduction of car prices in the country.

Only earlier this month, the opposition had unveiled its auto industry revamp plan, which it said involved implementing gradual tax reductions to protect car prices and the used-vehicle market.

“On the one hand, they [BN] are trying to demonise Pakatan by saying we only give empty promises, but on the other, they are copying us. So I am more than happy if they continue with this broken record,” Rafizi said.

“Najib just copies what the rakyat says or Pakatan puts forward. The only thing the people will remember him for is his 1 Malaysia slogan, rather than any specific actions,” he added, pointing out that even the government’s repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA) was a result of pressure from numerous activists.

‘What happened to Najib’s sweet promises?’

Lim also listed out many of Najib’s pledges which he had yet to carry out throughout his tenure as prime minister.

“Look at the promises he has made, which he has not fulfilled. He once promised that the chief minister of Sarawak will resign, yet the latter has not resigned,” Lim said.

“He talked about fighting corruption. Instead, he goes and punishes the whistleblower,” Lim added.

He was alluding to the arrest of Rafizi under section 97(1) of the Banks and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA), which carries a maximum jail sentence of three years and a fine of up to RM3 million.

Rafizi was charged with having allegedly breached the secrecy provisions of the banking law by exposing banking details relating to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandal.

“And what about the illegal citizens in Sabah? He is not even implementing the RCI [proposal] as promised,” Lim added, referring to the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into the problem of illegal immigrants.

Lim also cited unfulfilled promises regarding the formation of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and the practice of open tender as proof that Najib was not a man of his word.

Meanwhile, Rafizi pointed out that Pakatan’s promises covered issues that BN had overlooked and done nothing about.

“So far, Pakatan has presented quite comprehensive plans important for the rakyat: minimum wage, housing prices and student loans… these are issues that affect people and have been neglected most by BN. In fact, the predicament we are in is a result of BN’s policies.

“They have not rectified it. It is Pakatan that picked up the strong sentiment from the grassroots and made it a national agenda,” he said.

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