PETALING JAYA,. It would be economically challenging for Pakatan Harapan to implement all of their manifesto within 100 days if they were to form the next government after the 14th general election, say economic experts.
Universiti Tun Abdul Razak lecturer and programme director of its Global MBA Program Prof Dr Barjoyai Bardai said that while the manifesto displayed a new model of welfare economy, the challenge would be in the financial capacity of implementing it within a short span of time.
He said some of the more important things like eliminating Felda settlers’ debts and relieving the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans could be prioritised while the rest could be implemented in stages.
“The problem with abolishing the GST is that it has become a credible source of revenue for the Government, contributing over RM40bil in revenue. We can go back to the SST tax but it has a lot of issues,” said Prof Barjoyai.
He said there were alternatives like implementing a consumption tax done by India before it was scrapped due to lack of information.
“The tax was imposed based on the total consumption of a household but it was later abolished due to lack of information leading to difficulty in tax collection. But we might be able to do that as we are in the information technology era,” he said.
Another alternative to bring in government revenue could be in harvesting wild nipah palm trees for its sugar, which could be a new version of the Felda model.
Prof Barjoyai claimed there were about 350,000ha of land with wild nipah palm trees all over the country, which could be allocated to the hardcore poor.
A research director from a think-tank said the discussion of the manifesto should focus on the cost rather than feasibility.
“The good thing about the manifesto is that it promotes better governance. But most initiatives are only short-term measures,” he said.