By Clara Chooi
IPOH, Nov 1 — Despite being ousted just under one year in power, the Perak Pakatan Rakyat is already looking to the next polls by preparing its first draft manifesto ahead of the 13th general election.
Besides promising to adopt the same policies it had implemented when the alliance helmed the state government last year, PR also offered other goodies to the people.
It still maintains its claim as the legitimate government although the palace-appointed Barisan Nasional government is effectively running the state now.
The alliance pledged to return “true democracy” to the people of Perak by bringing back local government elections, a policy that has stopped for 44 years since 1965.
Former local government state executive councillor Nga Kor Ming, who presented the manifesto during the state-level PR convention at the Syuen Hotel here yesterday, said the elections would be held in stages, to ensure that the people regained their rightful representation in the local councils.
The manifesto also promised that the PR government, if voted back in power, would never raise taxes for the people and increase their burdens.
To protect the welfare of the people, the manifesto also suggested that the state’s welfare fund of RM12 million be doubled to RM24 million.
“This is so that more will be able to receive welfare aid,” said Nga when reading out the manifesto.
He added that mosque workers in Perak would be given due recognition for their noble work and would have their welfare improved.
For the Indian community, Nga said the PR government would create a Perak Indians Foundation, under the Perak Foundation, where an allocation of RM5 million would be prepared to help the community’s poor.
The manifesto also listed out several other policies on improving the social welfare of the people, such as the setting up of a fund for single mothers and senior citizens, a scholarship fund for students entering public universities, and allocation for the construction of religious praying grounds and cemeteries for Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, besides the Muslims.
The PR coalition government, said Nga, also pledged to gazette land plots for all school streams across the state, in order to solve the problem of overcrowding in classes in the city.
To further attract foreign investment into the state, the manifesto states that investments worth more than RM500 million or which offered more than 2,000 job opportunities to locals would receive incentives such as discounts on quit rent and assessments.
To lighten the burdens of traders, the PR would adopt a three-year free licence policy for all traders in the state and a six-month waiver on the rental of stalls from the local councils.
Meanwhile, amongst the other policies the PR government pledged to introduce or to reimplement include: freehold titles with an 80 per cent discount on premiums for all 369 planned villages and 134 new villages; 99-year land leases for industrial land; free water for the hardcore poor; an improved public transportation system through the revival of the airport; a “one state, one coupon” parking system for all 15 local governments in Perak; village head elections in all 817 Malays villages and 134 new villages; and a fixed allocation of 1,000ha of land for religious schools. – Malaysian Insider