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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BN continues to copy Pakatan’s Orange Book for by-elections

The recent announcements by the BN leadership on the new deal for teachers and CESS payments for FELDA settlers shows that BN continues to copy policies from Pakatan’s Orange Book.

In January while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak publicly described Pakatan’s Orange Book as being populist and irresponsible, we were informed that the Prime Minister instructed the Economic Planning Unit to look into detail the possibility of implementing the proposals from the Orange Book.

Thus we have seen how BN is implementing one after another similar policies to the Orange Book. This includes the toll rate freeze and reduction, the incentive for headmasters and the national housing policy.

The new deal for teachers which Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced at Merlimau includes the incentive for headmasters and also an incentive for teachers, totalling RM18.4 million.

In the Orange Book, Pakatan Rakyat had committed a RM500 special monthly allowance for teachers within 100 days of a Pakatan Federal Government to appreciate the role of teachers and to start the restructuring of the education system.

In Kerdau, Najib announced that the CESS payments that had been withheld from the FELDA settlers can be reclaimed through three options. CESS payments are monies deducted from the sale of rubber for replanting purposes. However the payments were withheld when the settlers switched to palm oil in 2004. A payment of RM5000 was made during the 2008 General Elections but FELDA still owes each settler involved RM13,000 including interest.

Pakatan had committed to dissolve FELDA Plantations within 100 days and distribute the estates to the second and third generation FELDA settlers.

It is unfortunate that while Najib plagiarises Pakatan’s Orange Book by stealth, he does not have the courage to accept Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s challenge to debate on his claim that the policies are populist and irresponsible. We are sure that whether done in Kuala Lumpur, Kerdau or Merlimau such a debate would be a wonderful opportunity for the rakyat in Malaysia to judge the Orange Book.

Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad
Communications Director
Parti Keadilan Rakyat


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