365 Days to Clean Up a 60-Year Mess?

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The rakyat needs to be realistic and not begin pointing fingers just a year after the Pakatan Harapan government took over.

Over the last year, since winning the 14th general election, it has been mostly a clean-up job for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, considering the huge mess left behind over the last 60 years.

Perhaps the PH government had under-estimated their tasks ahead and felt they could get down to nation-building and boosting the economy soon after being sworn in.

However, when reality dawned, the government realised there was much more than they could chew and that the time needed to digest this was beyond what they anticipated.

The levels of corruption were enormous and it had seeped deep into every corner of the past administration, especially into the civil service.

More and more dirt kept surfacing and even a political maestro like Tun Mahathir Mohamad was probably overwhelmed.

The sad part is that many issues could not be openly shared with the rakyat and the electorate was becoming restless, waiting for their dream government to deliver on their electoral promises.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng stressed on numerous occasions that the mess was far greater than expected and that BN had left the coffers almost empty.

So, the PH administration soon found itself having to clean up more than six decades’ worth of corruption, lies and deceit, plenty of which was attributed to former premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and his administration.

There was no mercy by BN and their troops in enriching themselves, with no agency spared, and the nation was literally squeezed dry.

One by one, former BN leaders were hauled up to court by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), with many more expected to follow suit. This would go on for months to come.

Before PH could begin delivering on its electoral promises, it had to first get the country back on the right footing to move forward again.

It would be unfair at this point to accuse PH of failing the rakyat, considering the mammoth cleaning-up task the leaders have to deal with.

Where were all the noise makers the last 60 years and why were they so quiet when Najib and gang were literally robbing us from under our noses?

It is shocking that an NGO, Pertubuhan Sahabat Erat Dan Amanat Rakyat (Sedar), is threatening to hold street demonstrations if the PH government did not deliver on its electoral promises by August 17.

How come you gave BN 60 over years and PH only a year?

According to Sedar president, Nazrin Noraini, the decision was made after much enthusiastic support from the public over the idea.

However, it was pointed out by former Umno strongman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar that BN only fulfilled 21 of their 60 promises made in their GE13 manifesto.

Also, we must bear in mind that PH drafted their manifesto without at that time realising the deep problems that beset the country prior to GE14.

It was impossible for PH to swing into realising the promises when they took over but despite the setbacks, they managed to achieve some successes within their first 100 days in power.

Among these were abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST); stabilising petrol prices; and postponing the repayment of the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans for graduates earning up to RM4,000 a month.

Manifestos are, after all, not an electoral bible, but something which can and must be tweaked accordingly.

This was also pointed out by former BN iron lady Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz who stressed that the PH government should not be shackled to its election manifesto but adapt to social and economic changes if it wants to be a future-proof government.

Overall, there may be some voices of discontent among the electorate, but it is certainly far too early for anyone to throw in the towel.

We waited over six decades for change and surely most of us are prepared to wait one term for a better tomorrow.

Jonathan Anyi is a TTN reader. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of TTN.