Selangor trumps Perak in pledge delivery, watchdog claims as twin polls loom

 

- Malay Mail Online

Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 ― The Selangor government outperformed the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration in Perak for the three years since Election 2013, with the former completing an estimated 73 per cent of its tougher pledges to the latter’s 31 per cent, a non-governmental political watchdog claimed.

Kuasa chief executive Praba Ganesan said this was based on the group’s analysis of “top blue ribbon pledges”, which he described as promises that are measurable and deemed more “challenging”.

“It appears when those promises which are substantial and matter considerably to residents of the states, Selangor performs much better than Perak,” he said in a statement.

Some examples of Selangor’s “top blue ribbon” pledges include, among others, the promise to ensure religious school employees earn a minimum RM1,500 monthly; to provide an additional annual allocation of RM2 million to primary and secondary vernacular schools; to provide free and user-friendly public transport in Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Klang and Kajang; strict enforcement of legislation related to hillside development; and RM500 cash assistance to couples for first marriage.

In Kuasa’s examination of the election pledges in totality, however, it said Perak did noticeably better with a completion score of 61 per cent, close behind Selangor’s 72 per cent.

But the NGO chief noted that BN’s 82 manifesto promises in Perak had included many “low-hanging fruits” that were never in the first place at risk of being completed.

One example, he said, is how the pact promised to provide free 20 cubic metres of water monthly to poor but did not stipulate who falls under the category.

“While Selangor (not part of its 2013 pledges) offers free water (20 cubic metres) to all state homes without exception,” Praba pointed out.

To be fair to Perak, he noted that the state’s budget is considerably smaller than that of Selangor’s, the country’s wealthiest and most industrialised state.

But Praba also pointed out that BN in Perak shares power with the federal government and should be able to utilise federal mechanisms and funding to achieve its goals.

He went on to suggest that the state’s federal ties would likely help bolster the chances of BN’s candidate in the Kuala Kangsar by-election, Datin Mastura Yazid.

The Kuasa chief claimed Mastura’s election promises were “unspecific” but said the goodies promised, especially the RM49 million allocated for flood mitigation, would likely result in her victory this Saturday.

In Sungai Besar, which will also vote this Saturday, Praba said the Selangor government’s performance over the past eight years would not be so quickly forgotten by voters.

“Half of Sungai Besar is Sekinchan, and the (DAP) assemblyman Ng Suee Lim has bolstered support since his initial win in 2008.

“The township is vibrant and development has not been neglected in that and BN candidate Budiman Mohd Zohdi’s Sungai Panjang,” he said.

Sungai Panjang and Sekinchan are the two state seats that fall under the Sungai Besar federal constituency.

Praba also said Budiman would be struggling in Sungai Besar if he were in a straight fight for the seat.

He said he expects a strong performance by Budiman’s two contenders from PAS and Amanah and that even if BN were to win the polls, the pact would likely only score 45 per cent of the votes or less.

“Kuasa believes the state’s track record is a bigger effect than seen by others,” he said.

The Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar seats, both won BN in Election 2013, were declared vacant following the deaths of their MPs in a helicopter crash during the Sarawak state election last month.

Polling for both seats will go on this Saturday.

Release Date: 
Rabu, Jun 15, 2016