Party manifestos at a glance as you go to vote

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 14, 2022 - November 20, 2022.
-A +A

The three main coalitions — Barisan Nasional (BN), Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) — have put forward their respective manifestos aimed at wooing Malaysian voters in the upcoming 15th general election (GE15).

The stakes are high as this election will see a crowded field involving six coalitions, 39 political parties and 945 candidates. A record 21.17 million eligible voters will go to the polls on Nov 19.

The various parties’ manifestos promise a host of initiatives. It is good to understand these as they provide a good insight into what to expect from the candidates.

PH has drawn up a 98-page manifesto proposing to tackle the escalating cost of living and food security, as well as a plan to deal with climate change and forest and marine conservation.

BN’s 48-page manifesto, dubbed Padu, covers 99 initiatives that could be complementary to the federal budget tabled on Oct 7. Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has come out to say that Budget 2023 is BN’s manifesto.

PN’s manifesto, meanwhile, contains various freebies outlined under 12 pillars and 30 approaches, with 234 offers that the coalition describes as necessary to form a caring, clean and stable government.

While all three main coalitions have included Sabah and Sarawak development as part of their manifestos, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) have also announced their own manifestos.

Overall, the three coalitions have highlighted several pressing issues, making the cost of living, food security and unemployment their top priorities in their manifestos. Still, execution will be key and, so far, none of the coalitions is promising any part of the manifesto can be achieved in 100 days.

It is also worth noting that none of the manifestos talked about how the many promises will be funded.