Promises Promises Or Manifestos That Deliver Little
PCS’s Api Api candidate, Pang Yuk Ming, with Pulau Gaya islanders on Monday.KOTA KINABALU: Api Api candidate Pang Yuk Ming was overcome with embarrassment while at a gathering with a small group of islanders from Pulau Gaya near here on Monday.
He had asked them what his fellow candidates had pledged they would do for Gaya islanders if elected: most of the responses were about upgrading the walkways at the water villages, or promising to improve water and electricity supplies.
When Pang spoke about his vision of setting up a cooperative that would venture into a floating seafood restaurant, many sat up and took notice.
“I told them such a restaurant was viable. It would have amazing views of the city and Mount Kinabalu. It would result in supporting activities such as aquaculture,” he said.
His plan also calls for profits to be distributed among the islanders by way of rewards for cleanliness, or in education assistance to their children and assistance for poor families.
Pang, who is deputy president of PCS, is among nine candidates canvassing support from Api Api’s 19,149 voters.
He has also been sharing his vision of what Kota Kinabalu can be – including becoming an education hub and regional centre for e-commerce for industry giants like Alibaba, plans that spell economic opportunities and jobs for Sabahans
Pang (second right) sitting with islanders during his campaign visit to Pulau Gaya.Political observers said Pang’s campaign approach of sharing his economic vision is unique.
Other contesting parties and their candidates may have their manifestos that lacked details of what they would do if elected.
“You can take a manifesto from five years ago, make a few changes and there you have a manifesto for 2020. Whether it is empowering the youth or poverty eradication, that is not wrong. But the pledges they make are lacking in details, the nuts and bolts,” said Pang.
Political observers said the campaign efforts have largely been framed on BN and PN telling the voters that Warisan Plus has been a failure in administering the state.
Warisan Plus on the other hand has pushed its unity theme with the underlying message that Sabahans must stand together to fend off the political “overlords” from the peninsula bent on taking away Sabah’s way of life.
Warisan Plus has been short on what its plans are for Sabah should it form the state government.
“They keep saying the need to maintain the Warisan government – without giving reasonable justification,” said lawyer Hamid Ismail.
Harping on the performance of the BN government is not a good tactic, he said. “The public has seen how the BN and Warisan governments worked and performed. Unfulfilled manifestos are a nightmare,” he added.
Whether the message has got through will be known on Sept 26 when Sabahans cast their ballots. - FMT
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