The political war for Putrajaya has now changed to ‘war of promises’ between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as BN unveiled its manifesto Saturday night.
Launched in grand splendor with no less than 50,000 BN members filling the Bukit Jalil stadium to the brim, the manifesto covers all aspect of daily life and for all ages, outlining the programs and enhancement of current development.
Well thought and well researched, it manifests the commitment of the ruling coalition to see that the country’s future development are well-spread and wealth are equally distributed to all level of population.
It is a pragmatic plan vis-à-vis the country’s economic development that will see the population living a comfortable life, a plan that came out from the minds of leaders of the ruling coalition through their years of experience.
Termed as ‘Aku Janji’ or I promise, BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak stressed that the manifesto detailed plans that the coalition would implement if chosen into power again or if re-elected.
They are not just words like the title of the song by the Bee Gees to win the hearts and minds of the people but a commitment put in words for the people to see and monitor for the next five years.
The opposition PR has already cried foul over the manifesto claiming that BN copied the manifesto they revealed in February and developed them further.
Whatever the allegations being thrown, PR through Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim had last year said that manifesto was not a promise and as such they were not accountable for not making good those written in the manifesto.
Khalid made the comment following various protests and suits that were held and filed following the Selangor government’s failure to implement every written item on the manifesto during the 2008 general election that put them to power.
Najib, apparently being very articulate and wise, had stressed that BN’s manifesto is a promise and would be fulfilled accordingly like the ruling party fulfilling all the pledges made during the 2008 general election.
Najib stressed the word I Promise given the background that PR has renegade from its promises which make voters felt cheated and unappreciated, especially the Indians in Hindraf, who felt being ignored and made insignificant after giving the PR a 100 percent support during the 2008 general election.
With the manifesto now out for voters’ scrutiny, issues whether personal or, local or national levels may take a backseat and remain just ‘spices’ for extra ‘taste’ in the servings.
Overdose of such issues since 2009 when Najib took over the Umno presidency and Prime Minister post, many voters are now taking the allegations of scandals as ‘normal daily pills for headaches’, these issues are expected to be just ‘add-ons’ to the real issue of what programs would be laid down for their future.
Campaigning which begun two years back have been focus on purported scandals of leaders of ruling that have been the ‘main menu’ of cyber troopers from both sides of the political divide to harp on.
PR cyber troopers highlighted the allegations while BN’s cyber troopers rebutting, making the cyber war an attraction to majority of the voters.
Beginning this year, the war took a twist where BN cyber troopers began attacking – not scandals as done by the opposition but highlighting the contradictory statements of opposition leaders as well as statements that were deemed ridiculous and out of the normal.
But with the unveiling of the manifestos, which both sides of the political divide have penned, campaigners are expected to debate and explain the programs in detail to voters during the ceramahs, expected to be conducted day and night during the campaign period.
Vicious attacks on personalities will continue in cyber and the ceramahs but the main trust of the talks are expected to be on the manifesto as voters, whether in urban or rural areas, will still be interested in their daily ‘bread and butter’ issues.
‘Bread and butter’ issues have always been the voters’ focus in every election as they go through their daily life picking up the pieces after the election – the truth of life.
And along with that is who they trust most that can deliver their ‘bread and butter’ – incumbent Najib, obsessed Anwar Ibrahim or Fundamentalist Abdul Hadi Awang.