Press Statement by YB Chong Chieng Jen:
2019 has been a challenging year for PakatanHarapan Government.
There have been many reforms implemented by the PH Government in 2019. To name just few of the reforms and government initiatives implemented by the PH Government in 2019:
1.Systematic and increased allocation for Chinese Schools:
•More than doubled the annual allocation for Chinese schools from the previous RM50 million during BN’s time to more than RM100 million a year, and huge improvement in the disbursement of the allocation.
•Budget allocation of RM15 million in 2020 for Chinese Independent Schools compared to ZERO budget allocation during BN’s time.
2.Full refund of RM37 billion in GST and income tax which was wrongfully withheld by the previous BN Government for years.
3.Our promise to review the mega projects entered into by the previous BN government has also saved the country tens of billions of Ringgit so that the money can be put to better use in other programs and initiatives. Examples of such reviews are:
•The re-negotiation of East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) project which reduced the contract price from the initial RM65.5 billion to RM44 billion, a saving of RM21.5 billion
•The re-negotiation of MRT 2 project (for both above and underground) which reduced the contract price from the initial RM39.35 billion to RM30.53 billion, a saving of RM8.82 billion
•The re-negotiation of the LRT 3 project which reduced the contract price from the initial RM31.65 billion to RM16.63 billion, a saving of RM15.02 billion
•The termination of Lebuhraya Utara Borneo SdnBhd (LBU) as the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) for the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak resulting in saving of an estimated RM1.2 billion
4.Implementation of more gender equal policy by appointing women to hold important positions like the Chief Justice, chief of MACC, etc.
5.Stablising the price of goods by maintaining the inflation rate at below 1% as compared to BN’s era when the inflation rates hovers around 2 – 3%.
6.Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the first, second and third quarters of 2019 were 4.5%, 4.9% and 4.4% respectively which has outperformed all our neighbouring countries.
7.Our approved Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the first half of 2019 rose by 97% to RM49.5 billion as compared to the 1st half of 2018 which was only RM25.1 billion.
8.Stabilising the petrol RON95 and diesel prices at the respective ceiling prices of RM2.08/litre and RM2.18/litre for the past one year. By comparison, BN implemented the free-floating price mechanism for both RON95 and diesel. Had BN been the government after the 14th GE, our RON95 and diesel prices would have been in the region of RM2.30 – RM2.50 per litre for the past one year.
9.Successfully tracing the money trail of 1MDB thus resulting in the return of a total sum of RM1.45 billion from the embezzled 1MDB fund. There are still ongoing efforts to trace the other embezzled fund of 1MDB.
10.Improving Malaysia’s Press Freedom Index by 22 places from the previous 145th position to 123rd position,
Despite these achievements, racial discord and polarisation seems to have taken the central stage of the nation’s attention.
With the dawn of 2020, the PH Government shall put three matters as its top priority agendas.
The first agenda is to focus on the implementation of the outstanding promises of the PakatanHarapan’s 2018 Elections Manifesto.
The second agenda is to focus on resolving the racial polarisation issue. This will not be an easy task as the problem is the result of 56-year indoctrination and mutual mistrust. In all societies, there are bound to be the small minority extremists whose voices are the loudest. They have the agenda to drive a wedge amongst the races to serve their personal and political gains.
However, I do believe that the great majority of Malaysians want to see a Malaysia of multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-racial harmony. To achieve that, we shall need the co-operation of all parties, the cabinet ministers, the elected representatives from both divide of the House, the NGOs, the learning institutions, all Malaysians as a whole and the media.
The third agenda is to focus on re-building the Malaysian economy. There are both the internal and external challenges, namely the lack of confidence amongst the business sector caused by political uncertaintywithin PH and the fluid and uncertain international trade caused by the trade war between US and China. Despite all these, statistically Malaysia has done reasonably well compared to other countries in 2019.
As we moved into 2020, PH will become more stabilised and there are glimpse of an amiable resolution of the trade war. With that, it is hoped that the economy will pick up in 2020.
The people of Malaysia has created a miracle by defeating the BarisanNasional in 2018. In most countries where there is a change of authoritarian regime which have ruled for many decades, the new government could not hold together and the country plunged into chaos in the first one or two years of the change.
But this is not the case for Malaysia. Despite all the bumps and humps, we managed to hold the government together and we shall continue to strive to bring progress and prosperity to the country. We hope all Malaysians will be with us in this mission to rebuild the country.
Chong Chieng Jen
Sarawak PakatanHarapan Chairman