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The ABCs of a political break-up, explained

May 13, 2017
The ABCs of a political break-up, explained
PAS’ official break-up with PKR came as no big surprise, but the real test now comes in how the opposition will restrategise for the coming elections if it hopes to defeat BN. – The Malaysian Insight pic, May 12, 2017.
PAS has officially broken up with PKR, and that isn’t really news for anyone who saw it coming a while ago.

The break-up was inevitable after the Islamist party buried Pakatan Rakyat (PR) when it cut ties with ally DAP last July, and then last month when it declared new opposition party Bersatu as “leaderless” at a party assembly,  which also asked to break off with PKR.

So what happens now, as PAS insists that it is still in the Selangor government where its members, some 5,000 of them, still hold various positions in the state administration until the next general elections?

Can the party led by its firebrand president Abdul Hadi Awang still have its cake and eat it, by leaving the opposition pact and being a third force, albeit a growing cooperation with Umno?

Analysts polled by The Malaysian Insight explain the ABCs of the break-up and what will happen as Malaysia gets into gear for general elections which must be held by August 2018.

Three-cornered fights in the next polls can no longer be avoided

In the last two general elections, PR won more parliament seats, and also states, due to straight fights with Barisan Nasional (BN). That also led to BN losing the popular vote in the 2013 polls.

Not anymore. PAS is expected to defend its seats against former allies and also BN, particularly Umno as these parties eye the Malay vote. The likely outcome would be Umno winning the seat as PAS and other opposition parties battle for votes.

As Amanah strategy director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad put it succinctly, voters will now have a clearer picture who are the ones rejecting the idea of straight fights in GE14: “that is the reality and the outcome of the Shurah Council’s decision today,” he said.

PAS will insist it remains in the Selangor government as it now controls mosques and suraus

The Islamist party might have “divorced” all its former allies in PR and snubbed Amanah and Bersatu but it knows that it cannot shed power so easily, especially when some 5,000 members are paid political appointees in municipal councils, mosque and surau committees and village security and development committees members.

“Going on principle, there is a clash between power and necessity. PAS will take this into account, so very likely it will stay in the government until Parliament is dissolved.” said pollster Ilham Centre’s executive director Hisomuddin Bakar.

He said the Selangor government could remain as it s as PAS needs the platforms to influence voters in the general election.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) risk bad results in early polls as component parties need time to adjust

The possibility of earlier polls without PAS will have an adverse effect on PH as it now has to re-distribute parliamentary and state seats, and more importantly, get its grassroots election machinery organised.

The fact that Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, who is PKR deputy president, has long kept PAS in the fold is to ensure full support going into the next polls with PAS members providing the canvassers for votes.

But time is running out to get its own act together for the Malay vote, despite being set up in 1999. It is also not certain if Amanah and Bersatu can get votes if polls are called earlier.

“PH’s winnability in Selangor needs simulation and right strategies. The narrative of success in Selangor under PH has to be presented to the people to keep up the offensive momentum,” said Hisomuddin.

PKR leaders need to find safer seats to replace those won with PAS help

PKR leaders,  such as Nurul Izzah Anwar, who won the Lembah Pantai federal seat in Kuala Lumpur and others who won in Selangor will have to consider safer seats as they won with help from PAS grassroots.

These grassroots are now the enemy in the next polls just as BN remains the rival, said Hisomuddin Bakar.

“If there are still those who doubt this, it will be hard to get the message across to voters in the polls. This dilemma must be sorted out before it is too late,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

PAS could fail at the polls

Despite talking up cooperation between Umno and PAS, the Islamist party will go it alone in GE14, aiming for 45 seats in the 56-seat Selangor assembly. And its chances of winning remain as slim as PH in a three-cornered fight.

That would leave Umno the clear winner in the state, and PAS the loser, leading Merdeka Centre director Ibrahim Suffian to question if PAS would be able to convince its supporters about cutting ties with PKR with GE14 in sight.

“PAS gained advantage in Selangor with the help of PKR,” he said, but the Shura council decision meant PKR would work with PAS splinter party Amanah.

To put it simply, the PAS decision yesterday is a major setback for PH and a great boost for BN to face the electorate after two consecutive major defeats at the ballot box. – May 12, 2017.

Baca versi BM……di sini.


Amanah: More to Bandar Malaysia deal collapse than meets the eye….

May 12, 2017

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad asks if the collapse of the deal between TRX City and a Malaysia-China consortium has something to do with the unhappiness of Malays over the sale of too much land to China.


KUALA LUMPUR: Is the abrupt termination of the share sale agreement (SSA) between TRX City Sdn Bhd and a consortium appointed as master developer of Bandar Malaysia a business decision or a political decision, asks an Amanah leader.

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Amanah strategic director, asked if it had anything to do with talk that the government was selling off too much land to China.

On May 3, TRX City, which comes under the finance ministry, announced that the SSA with Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC) regarding the sale of 60% of the issued and paid-up capital of Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd had lapsed.

It said this was due to the failure of the purchasing parties to fulfil payment obligations. This was subsequently contested by the consortium which said it had fulfilled all the required payment obligations under the agreement.

Dzulkefly said the lack of a clear explanation for the collapse of the RM7.4 billion deal had given rise to much speculation.

He said in a statement: “Could taxpayers be better informed as to what is exactly the reason for such an ‘abrasive’ decision, especially when it involves China, an economic powerhouse that Prime Minister Najib Razak has courted to ‘save’ and ‘boost’ Malaysia’s foreign investment.”

He asked if the government had a better alternative for a master developer that will not be subjected to a regime imposing capital controls.

He was alluding to reports that the deal had collapsed because China refused to give permission to CREC to participate in the purchase of the Bandar Malaysia shares due to stringent capital controls.

Dzulkefly asked: “Or is it, after all, a political decision to allay the anxieties and concerns of the Malay constituencies that we are selling off too much to the Chinese Communist Party, a once-upon-a-time taboo of the highest order to the Malay-Muslim electorate?”

He said going by what had been said by TRX City and the consortium, there was surely “more than meets the eye” in the collapse of the deal.

TRX City, he said, should now anticipate a legal battle with IWH-CREC.

My original writeup is here…………..(this is an abridged version written in BM for Akhbar Amanah in this coming issue).
1. Granted, TRX City Sdn Bhd now owned by Ministry of Finance (MoF), has abruptly terminated the RM7.4 bilion share sale agreement (SSA) with the consortium IWH-CREC of Bandar Malaysia land.
2. Executed on the eleventh hour, when Executice Chairman of CREC had flown into Kuala Lumpur with a site visit of Bandar Malaysia with the Prime Minister arranged, doesn’t speak well and surely much to be regretted, as it could be better done as to avoid a lot of embarrassment.
3. That the sale of 60% stake of Bandar Malaysia to the consortium IWH-CREC, who won ln the back of a stiff competition of 40 odd international bidders, was a big relief for the debt-stricken MDB. The RM741 million deposited by the consortium was a short in the arm of sort.
4. Going by whatever have been communicated by TRX City and the consortium, surely there are more than meet the eyes.
5. While TRX City attributed the lapse because of the many failures of the  consortium to meet conditions precedent (CPs), the IWH-CREC on the other hand contested the assertion that they have failed in their key obligations. TRX City must now anticipate an ensuing legal battle by CREC and its local partner IWH.
6. Be that as it may, could the tax-payers be better informed as to what is exactly the reasons for warranting such ‘abrasive’ decision and especially not to China, an economic powerhouse that the PM Najib has courted to ‘save’ and ‘boost’ Malaysia’s foreign investment.
7. In the absence of an official explanation of the Bandar Malaysia’s collapse deal, speculations are rife and that is surely at the expense of our good will, given that we are suffering from a trust-deficit of sort from many unending predicaments.
8. Competing rivalries from other regional giants, namely Japan and South Korea are rife for other mega-projects associated with the Bandar Malaysia. The High Speed Rail is but one. Arguably TRX City would want the best offer but at what expense?
8. While TRX City may become the  beneficiary of this fiasco, not the least because the land would worth a lot more than what IWH-CREC paid for, other critical considerations must surely also be factored in.
9. So, just tell the rakyat why this dramatic u-turn is needed? Do we already have a better alternative of a Master Developer that will not supposedly be subjected to a regime that is now imposing a Capital Control? Or is it after all a political decision as to allay the anxieties and concern of the Malay constituencies that we are selling of too much to the Chinese Communist Party, a once-upon-a-time taboo of the highest order to the Malay-Muslim electorates?
Come clean and tell us the real truth, if you could Mr PM!

AMANAH minta KTMB dedah perbelanjaan 2013 hingga 2017

April 12, 2017

Pengarah Strategi Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH) Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad meminta lembaga pengarah Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) mendedahkan perbelanjaannya dari tahun 2013 hingga 2017.

“Saya difahamkan, saban tahun kerajaan memperuntukkan secara purata RM2 billion untuk KTMB melalui program ‘Meningkatkan Keupayaan KTM’ yang disenaraikan dalam bajet tahunan kerajaan Persekutuan.

“Pada tahun 2013, kerajaan memperuntukkan anggaran RM3.25 billion, diikuti tahun 2014 (RM 2.17 billion), 2015 (RM 2.15 billion), 2016 (RM 1.76 billion) dan terbaru tahun 2017 sebanyak RM 2.36 billion.

“Saya dikhabarkan oleh pekerja KTMB bahawa sebahagian peruntukan KTMB yang termaktub dalam bajet kerajaan Persekutuan seperti subsidi tidak disalurkan terus kepada syarikat tersebut.

“Jika benar apa yang didakwa, ke manakah perginya peruntukan tersebut. Saya khuatir peruntukan kepada KTMB tidak disalurkan mengikut bajet yang diluluskan di Parlimen, atau kemungkinan wujudnya penyelewengan yang melibatkan pelbagai pihak,” katanya dalam kenyataan.

Baru-baru ini, Kementerian Pengangkutan memberi jaminan pekerja KTMB yang bakal terlibat dengan Perjanjian Akses Rangkaian Kereta Api (RNAA) tidak akan kehilangan pekerjaan.

Timbalan menterinya, Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi berkata, sebaliknya mereka akan diserap masuk ke dalam anak syarikat milik KTMB.

“Saya jamin gaji, faedah, dan apa-apa kelebihan yang dinikmati sebagai pekerja KTMB ketika ini tidak akan hilang mahupun berkurangan,” katanya dalam sidang akhbar di bangunan Parlimen.

Mengulas lanjut, Dzulkefly berkata, dalam tempoh lima tahun fiskal belanjawan, kerajaan memperuntukkan sekurang-kurangnya 11.69 billion ringgit kepada KTMB untuk meneruskan program berkenaan.

Peruntukan ini tidak termasuk dalam program-program KTMB lain yang diperuntukkan secara asing, seperti ‘subsidi tren tidak ekonomik’ dan ‘lintasan rata awam’, jelasnya.

“Dengan peruntukan yang banyak dalam masa lima tahun, saya juga tidak yakin dengan prestasi yang dipamerkan oleh KTMB.

“Orang ramai masih mengkritik keupayaan KTMB sebagai sebuah pengangkutan awam yang efisyen. Masalah kelewatan ketibaan tren dari mengikut jadual, sistem tiket yang tidak berfungsi dengan baik dan tahap kebersihan yang kurang memuaskan menyebabkan saya meragui ke mana peruntukan ‘Meningkatkan Keupayaan KTM’ dibelanjakan,” tambahnya.

Ia, ujar beliau, tidak termasuk harga tiket yang meningkat pada akhir tahun 2015 dan kerugian yang dihadapi oleh KTMB sebanyak 30 juta ringgit pada tahun 2015.


April 3, 2017
1. Kenyataan Perdana Menteri DS Najib Razak bahawa Kerajaan Persekutuan tidak akan membentangkan pindaan Akta Mahkamah Syariah 1965 (RUU 355) di Parlimen ekoran keputusan mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi Barisan Nasional tidak mengejutkan kami dari Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH). Hari ini terbukti bahawa segala-galanya hanyalah permainan politik Umno dan Barisan Nasional.
2. Sejak awal lagi kami mengambil pendirian jika benar-benar kerajaan ikhlas dan yakin bahawa isu RUU 355 sebagai keperluan penting perundangan dan isu substantif, pastinya kerajaan sendiri akan mengambil inisiatif memindanya.
3. Akan tetapi oleh kerana motif sebenarnya ialah kepentingan politik maka RUU 355 telah digunakan sebagai umpan untuk menarik Pas keluar dari muafakat Pakatan Rakyat. Lalu berlakulah apa yang berlaku sehingga kemudiannya Pas berpecah selepas berlakuknya pembersihan golongan progresif dan pro-PR.
4. Lalu Najib dan pimpinan Umno telah ‘melayani’ kehendak Pas seolah-olah menyokong RUU 355 ini. Sekarang seluruh rakyat jelas kedudukan perkara ini bahawa perhitungan kepentingan politik Umno-BN menentukan dan mengatasi segala-galanya.
*Takfiri dan pecah belah umat*
5. RUU 355 juga berjaya memecahbelahkan umat Islam sendiri sehingga mengheret ke kancah ‘takfiri’, lalu semua pihak yang mempertikaikan apa jua aspek cadangan RUU 355 itu atau menolaknya adalah dianggap telah ‘gugur aqidah’ dan menentang Syariah Islam.
6. Untuk ingatan, Pihak Pejabat Mufti Wilayah Persekutuan digunakan untuk menyatakan semua ahli parlimen ‘wajib’ sokong, sedangkan RUU 355 adalah proses legislatif (at-Taqnin) yang semestinya melalui proses perbahasan dan perdebatan untuk mencari langkah-langkah terbaik bagi mencapai cita-cita murni memperkasakan Mahkamah Syariah, bukan hanya sekadar mempertingkatkan jumlah hukuman semata-mata tanpa ianya tidak melalui kajian impak dan kemunasahan yang mendalam.
7. ‘Himpunan Ungu’ di Padang Merbok pula memperlihatkan terdesaknya Pas dan Umno mahu menggunakan sentimen Islam-Melayu sehingga menimbulkan kebimbangan kepada asas negara ini dibina iaitu permuafakatan dan perpaduan nasional antara kaum dan agama. Seperti didakwa sesetengah pimpinan Pas dan Umno, kononnya RUU355 adalah lambang “penyatuan umat Melayu-lslam”.
8. AMANAH, sejak awal lagi telah tegaskan bagaimana sebenarnya pandangan kami tentang perkara ini. Ahli-ahli Parlimen kami telah mengemukakan cadangan balas tentang RUU355 bagi ‘Memperkasakan Mahkmah Syariah’ secara substantif dan menyeluruh. Justeru itu saya menyeru umat lslam dan seluruh rakyat untuk kembali kepada isu besar yang sedang mengancam survival dan kelangsungan tanah air tercinta ini.
*Reformasi sistem dan masalah sebenar rakyat*
9. Rakyat perlu segera kembali memahami bahawa reformasi penting dan kritikal buat kesejahteraan dan kemakmuran seluruh negara adalah dengan menolak penguasa politik yang rasuah, tidak amanah, tidak kompeten, jenis balun, boros dan bolot kekayaan negara.
10. Bebanan kos sara hidup rakyat di segi pemakanan, pengangkutan, kesihatan, pendidikan, perumahan, peluang pekerjaan bagi penganggur khasnya belia dan graduan, kejatuhan nilai ringgit, impak cukai GST dan penarikan pelbagai subsidi untuk rakyat, adalah isu-isu sebenar yang cuba dialih pandang olih kerajaan Najib. Menolak pimpinan yang yang rasuah, merompak, mencuri wang rakyat dan membebankan rakyat adalah tanggungjawab semua pihak.
11. Hentikan dari dipermain dan diperbodohkan dengan polemik RUU 355 ini oleh golongan yang mahu mengekalkan kuasa Umno BN dan mereka yang menyokong penguasa politik yang rasuah dan tidak amanah ini.
Parti Amanah Negara
3 April 2017

Perangkaan Bank Negara lenyapkan impian Najib

April 2, 2017

        MKINI  31 Mac 2017, 5:56 petang   

Perangkaan prestasi ekonomi yang dikeluarkan oleh Bank Negara Malaysia baru-baru ini telah menafikan dakwaan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak bahawa Malaysia berada di landasan betul ke arah menjadi sebuah negara berpendapatan tinggi menjelang 2020.

Melihat keadaan semasa, Pengarah Strategi Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH) Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad berkata, pertumbuhan tahunan Keluaran Negara Kasar (KNK) sebanyak 12 peratus (13.5 peratus lebih tepat) diperlukan, secara konsisten sehingga 2020, untuk mencapai KNK sebanyak AS$15,000 ( RM64,500) pada tahun 2020.

“Itu misi mustahil, memandangkan KNK per kapita pada tahun 2016 adalah AS$9,096 atau RM37,738,” kata Dzulkefly dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

Beliau berkata laporan Bank Negara yang dikeluarkan baru-baru ini secara tidak sengaja mengambarkan bahawa sasaran Najib untuk Malaysia menjadi negara ekonomi berpendapatan tinggi menjelang 2020 menjadi hampir tidak lagi dapat dipertahankan atau tidak boleh dicapai.

Pemimpin AMANAH itu berkata pelan Najib adalah untuk mengangkat KNK Malaysia kepada AS$523 bilion menjelang tahun 2020, dan untuk meningkatkan pendapatan per kapita daripada AS$6,700 kepada sekurang-kurangnya AS$15,000 bagi memenuhi syarat Bank Dunia untuk diiktiraf sebagai sebuah negara berpendapatan tinggi.

Untuk mencapai matlamat ini, beliau berkata, Malaysia memerlukan pertumbuhan KNK sebanyak enam peratus setahun. Ini adalah sesuatu yang menurut laporan Bank Negara tidak berlaku, kata Dzulkefly.

Beliau berkata laporan BNM 2016 itu mencatatkan pendapatan per kapita sebanyak AS$9,238 (RM36,078) pada 2015, adalah berdasarkan kadar pertukaran ASS$1 kepada RM4.01.

Bagi tahun 2016, ia mencatatkan pendapatan per kapita sebanyak AS$ 9,096 (RM 37,738) berdasarkan kadar pertukaran AS$1 kepada RM4.45.

Bagi 2017, sehingga Mac, pendapatan per kapita meningkat kepada RM39,656 tetapi disebabkan kadar pertukaran berada pada kadar RM4.45, ia menjadi AS$ 8,906 atau AS$9,889, jika kadar pertukaran adalah pada RM4.01.

Berdasarkan ini, Dzulkefly berhujah bahawa selama tiga tahun berturut-turut, Najib gagal mencapai pertumbuhan ekonomi yang disasarkan dan sebaliknya trend itu sentiasa menurun.

Mahathir, Wan Azizah ‘simbol’ HARAPAN baru – Way To Go PAKATAN HARAPAN (BARU)! Just beware of the divisive tactics of the enemies…Slowly but Surely..We will get there insyaAlLah!

March 29, 2017

Susan Loone     Hari ini, 2:48 tengahari  MKini

Lim Guan Eng menggambarkan dua doktor yang menjadi tokoh pembangkang ketika ini – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dan Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – sebagai “simbol” gabungan baru Pakatan Harapan (HARAPAN).

Kata ketua menteri Pulau Pinang itu, HARAPAN yang kini mempunyai anggota baru bercadang untuk membentuk semula masa depan politik Malaysia, sama seperti apa yang berlaku di AS yang cuba mengubah semula hubungan Washington – Kremlin.

Menurut Guan Eng, HARAPAN berjanji akan mengekalkan semua kebaikan, mengetepikan apa saja keburukan dan mengalu-alukan sesiapa yang berjuang membanteras amalan rasuah dalam sebuah kerajaan demokratik.

“Ini yang ingin dicapai HARAPAN dengan adanya anggota baru.

“Seorang pernah menjadi sebahagian daripada kerajaan, dan seorang lagi pemimpin pembangkang,” katanya merujuk kepada Dr Mahathir dan Dr Wan Azizah.

Setiausaha Agung DAP itu berkata demikian pada sidang media di George Town, Pulau Pinang hari ini.

Dr Mahathir yang pernah menjadi perdana menteri selama kira-kira 22 tahun kini adalah pengerusi Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU), manakala Dr Wan Azizah adalah isteri bekas musuh ketatnya, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Dr Mahathir juga sebelum ini pernah berseteru dengan Guan Eng dan bapanya, Lim Kit Siang.

Bagaimanapun, mereka kini berdamai kerana disatukan oleh matlamat yang sama, iaitu mengalahkan kerajaan pimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Razak melalui pilihan raya umum akan datang.

Sementara itu Guang Eng menafikan Dr Mahathir dan Dr Wan Azizah sudah dilantik sebagai penasihat HARAPAN.

“Kedudukan mereka belum ditentukan dan akan diputuskan semasa mesyuarat akan datang.

“Adalah wajar untuk Dr Mahathir dan Dr Wan Azizah menjadi simbol HARAPAN.

“Kita ada seorang lelaki dan seorang wanita, dan tujuannya adalah untuk menunjukkan semangat perpaduan,” katanya.

Pagi tadi seorang pemimpin Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH) menyatakan HARAPAN bersetuju melantik Dr Wan Azizah dan Dr Mahathir sebagai penasihat jawatankuasa penaja gabungan pembangkang itu.

Keputusan untuk membentuk 18 ahli jawatankuasa penaja itu, kata Pengarah Komunikasi AMANAH, Khalid Samad, dibuat pada mesyuarat Majlis Presiden HARAPAN Isnin lalu.

Dzulkefly: Hello PM, where are the 1.8 million jobs? 61% unemployed were youth and those with tertiary education being the highest….Sigh.

March 28, 2017

Dzulkefly: Hello, where are the 1.8 million jobs?

| March 28, 2017

Amanah leader points to apparent conflict between Bank Negara’s report that youth unemployment rate reached 10.7% in 2015 and PM’s claim that 1.8 million jobs were created between 2010 and 2016.

Dzulkefly-Ahmad-jobKUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia’s report on unemployment and the prime minister’s assertion on the creation of jobs are in conflict, Amanah strategy director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said on March 22 that the National Transformation Programme (NTP) had created 1.8 million jobs between 2010 and 2016.

In his keynote address at the 2017 Global Transformation Forum here, Najib also said, through the NTP, no Malaysian would get left behind and that the needs of all people were being met.

In its Annual Report 2016, Bank Negara revealed that the youth unemployment rate in Malaysia reached 10.7% in 2015, more than three times higher than the country’s unemployment rate of 3.1%.

The central bank noted that 61% of the total unemployed workers were youths, despite only making up a third of the labour force. It said youths with tertiary education were the highest among the unemployed – at 15.3%.

The data revealed that the high unemployment rate was recorded among the population aged 20-24 years, that is 42% in 2015, followed by those aged 25-29 years (20.4%) and those aged 15-19 years (19%).

In 2015, Bank Negara said, the youth unemployment rate increased by 1.2 percentage points from an estimated 9.5% to 10.7%, while the national unemployment rate increased by only 0.2 percentage points (2.9% to 3.1%) during the same period.

Mocking the prime minister, Dr Dzulkefly said: “He seems oblivious of the actual perennial problem of youth unemployment.

“So what is happening Mr Prime Minister.”

He said Najib’s announcement that ‘no Malaysian gets left behind’ rang hollow in the wake of the Bank Negara report.

“This is indeed alarming and unsettling, to say the least. Its direct impact on the rise of social problems, namely (youth) involvement in drugs and criminal activities, would be the visible consequences.

“The overall well-being of society needs to be secured through increasing social and welfare programmes to assist this critical group,” the Amanah leader said.

He said there were many reasons for youth unemployment, including an uneven growth between job creation and job-seekers and a mismatch in skillsets between employment demand and supply.

But, he charged, not much had been done to address these problems.

Saying youth unemployment and underemployment were still pernicious, Dzulkefly added: “Sorry PM, you failed!”



PM, your 1.8 million jobs (created) rang hollow.
1. When the PM Najib Razak proudly announced that 1.8 millions jobs (22 March, Bernama) were created from 2010 to 2016 under the National Transformation Programme, he seems oblivious of the actual perennial problem of youth unemployment.
2. Najib categorical announcement that ‘no Malaysian gets left behind’ rings hollow when last week Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Annual Report of 2016 revealed that youth unemployment reached 10.7% in 2015, more than three times (3x) higher than the country’s unemployment rate of 3.1% (which arguably is a relatively good number).
3. Youth unemployment rate has outpaced the rest of the population by about 6 times higher (1.2 percentage point as compared to 0.2 percentage points). The data revealed that unemployment rate was recorded at 42% among 20-24 years in 2015 followed by aged group between 25-29 years at 20.4% and 15-19 years at 19%. It also specifically pointed out that unemployment is especially pronounced amongst graduates. The unemployment rate with tertiary education is at 15.3%.
4. So what is happening Mr Prime Minister. Stop, pulling wools over the rakyat eyes, with all your ‘magical numbers’ as you’re quite evidently ill-informed.
5. According to the report, youth represent more than half (61%) of the total unemployed workers, while only making a third of the labour force currently.
6. This is indeed alarming and unsettling to say of the least. Its direct impact on rise of social problems, namely involvement in drug and criminal activities would be the visible consequences. The overall well-being of society would have have to be secured through increasing social and welfare programmes as to assist this critical group.
7. As is always explained, youth unemployment is a multi-factorial problem. Rationale of a uneven growth between job creation and job-seekers, a mismatch of sort in skillsets between demand and supply-side has been unending  but not much has been addressed appaently.
8. Besides, policy framework must go beyond skills and training development but also to put in place effective functioning feedback mechanism between the industry and educational institutions.
9. Suggestion for an intensive tri-partite involvement of policymakers, educationists and private sectors employers be instituted has time and again be repeated,  but youth unemployment and underemployment is a still pernicious and a perennial problem. Sorry PM, you failed!
Dr Dzullefly Ahmad
Strategy Director
Parti Amanah Negara
28 March 2017.
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