PKR is trying to formalize their thoughts, policies and strategies. After years of hoodwinking the rakyat by making sensational but empty and impractical meaningless promises, they have decided to get their act together in the last round before 13GE. This afternoon, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim launched PKR’s think-tank.
PKR unveils think-tank to help make better policies
Koh Jun Lin • Feb 21, 13 7:24PTG
PKR has launched its new think-tank today with the aim to help them make policies that are “directed towards social justice and a sustainable future”.
In addition, it would also run programmes to educate youths on being more effective in their activism.
The think-tank, dubbed ‘Institut Rakyat’, featured many prominent thinkers in its eight-member advisory panel.
These include former UN Research Institute for Social Development board member and economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram, constitutional law expert Azmi Sharom, Malaysia CEO of the Year 2010 award winner Stanley Thai, and media professor Zaharom Nain.
“They are the ones, with their expert advice, professional experience, intellectualism and scholarly experience, who will give directions to the think tank,” said Institut Rakyat director Wong Hoy Cheong.
“We need evidence-based policies, not policies that are created, and then followed by ‘evidence’ pulled out of thin air to support it.”
Other notable figures in the institute include suspended Bank Islam economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin who serves as the institute’s research consultant, and former Maybank CEO Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah who serves as a director.
The institute is chaired by PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her deputy Syed Husin Ali, a former senator.
Although PKR-linked, Wong said the institute is dependent on donations from well-wishers and does not receive any funding from neither the party nor any government.
‘Offering critical analysis and commentary’
Meanwhile, the PKR de facto leader said the institute would be independent despite its relationship with his party during his keynote speech at the launch event in Subang.
“The paramount role of a policy studies institute is to offer critical analysis and commentary in order to influence them to meet the requirements of good governance.
“The establishment of this institute, being affiliated with PKR, grants the risk of being reduced to a self-serving mouthpiece.
“Hence it is of the greatest consequence that it should be independently run and that it performs the task it is set out to do in its charter, which among others is to advise and critique without fear or favour.
“To remain true to this, it must listen to the voice of the people. It must promote the culture of separation between the ruling political coalition from the government – and I am anticipating an imminent victory, God willing,” Anwar (right) said.
He added that young leaders in the party have long lobbied with the party’s ‘old guard’ for a party-linked think tank just as other parties have done, but with freedom to do its own research.
“This is a rather unique event in my political experience, which is that I have to succumb to the pressure of the youth from time to time to create new institutes and new ideas,” he said while thanking those involved in the lobbying.
It is called ‘Institut Rakyat’ (IR). It is filled with odd balls, invariably would be at odds against each other. The any other Opposition’s attempt to get different interest groups and stakeholders to sit down and formulate a common stand on anything, the consultation process would eventually turn out to be some sort of worthy to be a pig’s swill. Each interest groups’ raison d’être would invariably contradict each other.
The board of directors BOD) consist of mixed personalities with adverse specialities. The Chairperson is an opthamologist without any other relevant working experience but the hospital, far from in any corporation, economic or macro planning level. Politically, she played the role of a ‘puppet’ when he husband was in jail and they needed to formalise the ‘Reformasi’ movement into a political organisation.
Dr Syed Husin Ali is a sociologist, with socialism and social justice in mind. Where as Wong Hoy Cheong is a performance artist.
The economic expert recently was sacked for conduct unbecoming of a bank employee and now being investigated for commercial crime information theft. The corporate man who sits in the BOD once got into a lot of debt trouble with his property venture Land and General Bhd.
The economic academician sitting as advisory panel Dr Jomo K Sundram was once a strong critique of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when the latter was the Fourth Prime Minister. However, he approved of Tun Dr Mahathir’s radical ‘Capital Control’ economic program which not only stopped the economy from sliding far worse from the effects of attack on Ringgit Malaysia in 1997-8, but turned the economy around within the next three years.
The several theoretical lawyers sit in the BOD and advisory panel. It is interesting what sort of proposed revision of the Federal Constitution that this IR would come up with, especially this is a deeply rooted politically backed think-tank body.
This IR would not be ‘an independent think-tank’. It is likely IR would be a conduit from the monies that needed the ‘cleaning cycle’ channeled from economic activities by cronies’ corporations in Selangor and Pulau Pinang. Some of these activities are ‘below radar’.
This is not withstanding ‘donations’ as CSR programs by generous corporations from abroad especially countries in the region. Personalities like George Soros comes to mind instantly.
There are also specific foreign bodies backed by Neo Con Jews and camouflaged as NGOs to promote international democracy such as International Republican Institute, National Endownment for Democracy or National Democratic Institute which gladly come in droves to fund any effort to topple a government which they are unable to over-power or influence.
The fact is that PKR has failed even at policy level all these while. Anwar’s economic agenda is about hoodwinking the rakyat just to win support and votes, from sensationalization and dramatization of senseless ‘economic reforms’. An example is reducing the retail prices of petrol and diesel, at the times where crude hydrocarbon is hitting sky-high record breaking prices.
In his ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy and getting the ‘student power revolt’, Anwar wanted to write-off the RM 18 b PTPTN student loans and fully subsidize tertiary education. To capture the imagination of the young Malaysians, they wanted to completely abolish import tax and excise for cars. Both would just spiral the problems related to the young people further.
This IR is nothing but an election ploy and gimmick. The members would contradict themselves and expect to streamlining more senseless policies. Examples are the Buku Jingga and the Opposition 2013 Budget. They talk about spending and making sensational ‘offerings for the rakyat’ but without clearly outlining how the source to finance all these ‘giveaways’ are from.
Most importantly, the sustainability of these economically-bankrupt ‘give aways’.
PKR have been known to make promises that they are unable to keep. Such as the various assistance for Selangorians if ever they come to power in their 12GE manifesto such as free 20cubic metres of water, cash subsidies for single mothers, new borns and the hard core poors and others.
It is unimaginable how they would fair with their economic and financial policies. They failed in Selangor, even though the state is the wealthiest and most productive in the Federation. Malaysians should not forget the RM 1b Talam-gate scandal. The fact is that Anwar who inherited a bullish economy was a failed Finance Minister. Dr. Jomo’s economic thoughts for a practical economy is another ‘financial fairy tale’.
It is no brainer to second guess where the axis of their foreign policy. They would formulate justification to support the ‘security of State of Israel which is essence of two-state-solution’, taking the same stand as the West in the rebellion in Syria and would urge Malaysia to take active military role in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Don’t expect too much from the results of their thoughts on law and social justice except for anguish and fury from the majority. They would eventually come up with fancy justification to be pro-LGBT, pro-apostasy and pro-anti monarchy. Neither on governance when issues such as Kuala Semesta indiscriminate sand mining in Kuala Langat.
In the final analysis, there would be no progressive goodies for the human development program for young Malaysians. In the past five years, they did not do anything to alleviate the unemployment issues especially in the graduates. They didn’t even do any academic reforms in tertiary institution that they are in control such as Unisel. Nor did they do any youth upskilling programs, especially certified semi professional and professional training for youths, students and graduates.
Expect works that would insult the majority for all their proposed media and arts programs. Neither Anwar nor Wan Azizah is truthful when they are stuck and had to face the media. They simply attack the media when they are trapped. Like the ‘Omega-Chinadoll’ scandal. As political dictators, Anwar is known for his gag orders. Since his Deputy Prime Minister days.
Then again, freedom of expression doesn’t tantamount to works of art that promote LGBT activities nor socially or spiritually sensitive to the majority, even with the excuse to promote creativity. Anwar’s creativity could be reflected from the different stories and lies he tells different groups on people, on their specific interests.
All that sums up to another Wayang Mat King Leather. Just like always. It would sound fancy as a sounding board. Never the less, expect non sustainability. For Anwar & his band of mobstreet-lawless-politicos, ‘rakyat’ is not meant to be served. Its just an excuse to give them power.