Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Government’s 100-Day Programme is the Right Strategy at the Right Time

A suggested campaign to focus attention on what the re-elected Government achieves in its first 100 days in power makes perfect sense. It will showcase what the Government is doing in areas such as crime and corruption, the cost of living and inter-ethnic harmony. And it will send a clear message to the newly reshuffled ministers and their Government departments: more needs to happen and it needs to be seen to happen.

Such a programme will publicly demonstrate the calibre of Najib's hand-picked team and will give his high profile selections their first chance to shine. Maybank chief Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar and Transparency International Malaysia boss Paul Low are both attached to the Prime Minister's department and since it is responsible for delivery, they will join Datuk Idris Jala in ensuring real achievements are made in this limited timeframe.

But just as important is the broader message that should be loud and clear to voters. It is that the Prime Minister is putting the GE13 outcome behind him and is moving on with the transformation of Malaysia.
That means moving on with reform, with economic transformation and with his new team of ministers shaking things up in their departments. And it is the right time to be articulating this message given what is happening at Pakatan Rakyat, where Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is steadfastly living in the past, absurdly demanding the outcome of GE13 be reversed.

He continues to urge voters not to accept the election result despite the fact that all the parties of Pakatan Rakyat have done so, as have the elected MPs ready to take their seats in the Dewan Rakyat.
The contrast between Najib, positive and looking ahead, and Anwar, negative and frozen in the past couldn't be greater.

Just over a week ago, in an interview with Singapore's The Straits Times, cabinet newcomer Khairy Jamaluddin hinted as to the purpose of the 100-day programme and why it will focus on crime and corruption, and the rising cost of living.

"These are the top three issues that weighed heavily in the urban swing," he told the newspaper.
Since then Khairy has publicly declared that he believes urban voters can be convinced to once again put their faith in Barisan Nasional, given the right people and the right policies.

Those with exceptionally long memories will recall that the 100-day programme is not new. In 1981 the new Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad introduced such a programme to show he meant action as PM. It was the right initiative back then and it is the right initiative three decades on.

It means voters will be able to judge the new Government not on its personalities, but on its policies and performance.

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