STANDING his ground over reforms promised by Pakatan Harapan as part of their 14th general elections manifesto, PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong last night rejected Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claims that the party had over-promised as they did not expect to win.
Leong, in answering questions over the apparent ignorance of the election promises that has been the root of both discord within the ruling coalition since they took the reigns in Putrajaya on May 9, 2018 and the source of the people’s escalating dissatisfaction with Pakatan Harapan, said Dr Mahathir has merely shown that he doesn’t believe in the manifesto.
“I don’t accept this. We don’t accept this. We expected to win and we expected to implement the reforms promised in Buku Harapan,” said Leong.
He was speaking at a forum discussing the uncertainty surrounding the transition of Prime Ministerial duties from Dr Mahathir to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim entitled “Should Malaysia Wait Until November for Transition?”.
The discussion also featured PKR MPs Wong Chen (Subang), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Setiawangsa) and Chang Lih Kang (Tanjung Malim), along with UCSI’s Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Rasdi, before an attendance of about 200 at a conference hall in Bangsar.
“Wong Chen, Rafizi (Ramli), Rais (Hussin), Ong Kian Meng, Tony Pua… This is the team that worked on the Buku Harapan. But none of them are ministers,” said Leong, whom in his speech earlier had called for the transition to be accelerated in order for Anwar to have sufficient time to implement reforms, a sentiment echoed by Wong Chen, who cited even far simpler policies such as that concerning maternity leave which was not part of the manifesto, took a year to come to fruition upon proposal.
“The ones in the Cabinet are those who were not part of the Buku Harapan team. They didn’t read it, so they just say it is difficult to implement,” said Leong.
“The Buku Harapan reforms are based on what PKR, DAP and those in Amanah have been fighting for the past 20 years,” Leong added, stressing that the disappointment of the people was evident in PH’s fast declining popularity.
Leong also chided PKR vice president Tian Chua’s recent query as to why Anwar should be Dr Mahathir’s replacement, stating that not only was there a clear agreement between the leaders prior to the elections, but Anwar had always been the former opposition’s candidate for Prime Minister in the past four general elections, which he said Tian Chua was very aware of.