Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to reveal his cabinet lineup at a press conference after Najib Razak announced his resignation as Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman.
First let us take a look at the result of the election:
Number of parliamentary seats:
PH and allies
47 – PKR (the biggest winner, increased by 17 seats)
42 – DAP (increased by 4 seats)
13 – Bersatu
9 – Amanah
113 – PH
8 – Warisan
1 – Batu independent
54 – Umno (dropped by 34 seats)
13 – PBB (dropped by 1 seat)
3 – PBRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak)
2 – PDP (Progressive Democratic Party)
1 – MCA (dropped by 6 seats)
2 – MIC (dropped by 2 seats)
1 – PBS
1 – SUPP
1 – Upko
1 – PBRS
0 – Gerakan
18 – Pas
1 – Star
2 – Other independents
222 – Total parliamentary seats
Coalition – Popular vote share – Share of parliamentary seats
- Pakatan Harapan 48% (54.5%) – so gerrymandering and three-way contests actually worked in PH’s favour
- Gagasan Sejahtera 17% (8.1%)
- Barisan Nasional 34% (35.6%)
- Independents 1% (1.8%)
PM – Mahathir (Bersatu)
DPM – Wan Azizah (PKR) (where was she during the announcement?)
Finance – Guan Eng (DAP) (former ISA detainee)
Home Affairs – Muhyiddin (Bersatu)
Defence – Mat Sabu (Bersatu) (former ISA detainee)
Others to be announced later. We know that this morning Mahathir, Wan Azizah, Muhyiddin, Kit Siang and Guan Eng met with Anwar in hospital; so there have been consultations among them.
Special advisory council
- Daim Zainuddin
- Zeti Aziz
- Hassan Merican (Former Petronas chief – left the national oil corporation in 2010, during Najib’s time as PM, and then snapped up by Singapore, where he was attached to SembCorp Industries Ltd, SembCorp Marine Ltd and Singapore Power.)
- Robert Kuok
- Jomo Sundaram
Jomo is an outstanding choice. I have my reservations about a couple of the ‘old guard’ personalities in this council and exactly what role this council will play. Is it to steady confidence in the economy? If so, then this council should have a quick expiry date. What is its scope and level of accountability? And what would happen if there is a conflict between private business interests and public interest?
But then again, some of these people in this council were very much part of the old system, so the would be well placed to find out what has happened to public money and assets. Perhaps they need Daim to figure out what happened to public assets held by Umno proxies. Zeti needs to explain her role in 1MDB, and maybe she could help trace the 1MDB funds. The capable Hassan Merican may be needed to plug any leakages in Petronas.
PH should stop accepting crossovers; otherwise it would morph into a BN 2.0. We wouldn’t want that, would we.
Meanwhile, Kua Kia Soong has come up with some excellent insights and a timely reminder of the reform agenda for the new team in power to mull over.
4. A Progressive economic policy
We need to renationalise these assets, especially land, water, energy, which belong to the Malaysian people instead of local and foreign capitalists. This will not be that difficult to do as at present many of these assets are under the ownership and/or control of various government funds and Government-Linked companies (GLCs).
A pro-people government will be able open these GLCs to democratic control of the people and direct them to implement good labour and environmental policies. It is time that Petronas’ revenues are invested in a Sovereign Wealth Fund as a pension fund for future generations and the oil-producing states. We also want a strong and fairly distributed public-sector health, education, housing, transport services including highways which have been privatised to crony capitalists at the expense of the public good. Our small & medium enterprises, farmers and fisherfolk need adequate support in order to develop our local food and industrial production.
5. Redistribute wealth fairly
The increasingly serious gap in income inequality needs to be addressed through progressive taxation on the high-income earners, their wealth and property and effective tax laws to ensure there are no tax loopholes for the super-rich. Transfer pricing that enables the largest corporations to stash their profits in off-shore tax free havens has to be curtailed by proper legislation. Capital allowances and tax holidays for foreign firms must be reviewed while a tax should be imposed on all international financial transactions and hedge funds.
6. A Far-sighted and fair education policy
Education should not be politicised as it has been since Independence. There should be equal opportunities for all without any racial discrimination with enrolment into all schools including tertiary educational institutions. Besides building national schools using BM, mother tongue schools for the various ethnic groups should be built in education precincts sharing facilities to promote integration, ensuring proportionate financial support and training adequate teachers for these schools. Schools should be built according to demand by the local communities under the respective elected local councils.
7. Defend workers’ rights & interests
The right of all workers to unionise is a universal right and we want a progressive guaranteed living wage for all workers, including foreign workers. Workers must be given the right to association, full employment, retrenchment, pension fund and workers’ representatives should be part of decision-making in enterprises.
We want a Retrenchment fund for laid off workers and implement universal pension for citizens aged over 70 years. At the same time, we would promote self-governing workers’ cooperatives to produce goods that are useful for society.
8. People-centred and caring social policies
Institute a Housing Development Board, managed by elected local councils to implement an effective low-cost public housing programme for rental or ownership throughout the country for the poor and marginalised communities, with adequate space for community activities, recreation and green areas. For too long, the BN federal and PH state governments have allowed free rein to the private developers at the expense of the poor and marginalised.
We need to prioritise the public transport system in the country for the benefit of the majority while regulating highway construction and car traffic in city and town centres. We also want child-care and crèche facilities in all public and private sectors for working parents, homes and day-care centres for the elderly and disabled through benefits, support services, including access to mobile health care.
Further, allocate at least 4% of the GDP in the annual budget to healthcare; a separate Service Commission for Health Care workers so that better conditions for doctors, nurses and hospital workers in the public sector can be instituted while the expansion of private hospitals should be frozen to nurture the public health sector.