On 15 May 2020, IDEAS continued its webinar series with the sixth serial, entitled, “Webinar IDEAS: 21 Bulan Kerajaan Pakatan Harapan Memerintah: Satu Harapan atau Sekadar Mimpi”. It was conducted in Malay in order to capture larger group of audiences. Aira Azhari, Research Manager of Democracy and Governance Unit moderated the event while the panelists were Nik Nazmi,Setiawangsa MP of PKR and Shahril Hamdan of UMNO.
Nik Nazmi conceded that Pakatan Harapan did not manage to actualize all of the manifestos in the Buku Harapan. Institutional reforms and signing a number of international conventions were major among them. He highlighted the success of PH in lowering the voting age and how PH agreed with the opposition to include automatic registration of voters in the Constitution amendment. Nik Nazmi is of the opinion that economic reforms should be prioritized before institutional reforms.
Nik Nazmi also admitted that one of the factors that the PH government failed to undo the confidence crisis they suffered was due to inefficient communication between the government and the people. They did not manage to convey the message to all hence disappointing both sides of voters. He however, stressed that a number of progresses were achieved under the PH government as Buku Harapan was regarded as the promise that kept their accountability remain checked. Lastly, he confessed that several ministers had been liabilities to the then government.
Shahril when asked to comment on the performance of Pakatan Harapan government in balancing people’s aspiration and governing Malaysia, he said that PH suffered a reversal in people’s confidence in 22 months as government since winning GE14. This was on one part due to the failure to implement the manifestos offered during the election, besides governance and economic issues.
Moreover, according to Shahril, subpar economic management by the PH government contributed to less job opportunity for the youths and consequently, inadequate economic development for them as a whole. Foreign investment also suffered a downturn under the previous government. Lastly, he said that the PH government could have done better in terms of communication and perception management.
The webinar concluded by stating that the manifesto is still relevant, but parties have to make sure the manifesto is relevant to time and the public, especially the youths. Governments also should be voted and elected based on policies offered, not sentiments.
For those who missed the webinar session and would like to watch it, the video recording of the webinar is available below.