PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan may not be able to fulfil all of its election pledges in the next six months, but it should come up with a clear roadmap on how and when it will deliver its promised reforms, say economic experts.
Universiti Tun Abdul Razak lecturer and programme director of its Global MBA Program, Dr Barjoyai Bardai, said Pakatan needed to roll out an economic master plan for the next four years as many people were still waiting for a clearer direction on the economy.
He said cost of living and affordable housing were among the main issues the government needed to address.
“The Pakatan government must show voters that it is serious in tackling such issues because the government’s plans on these issues remain unclear to many people,” Barjoyai said.
Malaysian Institute of Economic Research executive director Dr Zakaria Abdul Rashid said there was an urgent need for the government to implement measures to stimulate the economy and deal with concerns over rising prices.
Zakaria added that although there was a price deflation, worries over the cost of living had not been fully addressed.
Sunway University economics professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng said that while six months might be too short to make good on all the pledges, there must be clarity in policy and a roadmap for the implementation of reforms.
“The roadmap must include the implementation schedules and stages for the more difficult reforms to assure the impatient public, whose expectations may have been elevated too much,” he said.
Prof Yeah said the government must clearly convey to Malaysians why it could not fulfil certain promises.
Lee Heng Guie, executive director of private sector think tank Socio-Economic Research Centre, said Pakatan had delivered on many of its promises so far, but noted that the coalition was weak when it came to getting its message across effectively.
“If it can improve further on the communication and messaging side (on what has been done so far), people will realise that it has done a lot of things,” he said.
Lee also said Pakatan must identify measures that could be done quickly.
“The government is looking at certain issues such as affordable housing. However, this kind of problem cannot be addressed overnight.
“The other issue is cost of living. This is not just about the cost of goods but also about income.
“Pakatan needs to go to the ground and explain to the people,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau said government policies should benefit the people, but said Pakatan had deviated from that.
He pointed out that ever since Pakatan took over, the tax policies introduced had increased the people’s burden.
“The Pakatan government has imposed a number of taxes. The people, especially the M40 group, are suffering.
“Although the Pakatan government has implemented a number of policies to benefit the B40 group, the pressure and demand from the M40 group continues to be ignored.
“I urge the government to review some unnecessary taxes and prevent the people from facing heavier living pressures,” he said in a statement yesterday.