Thank you Dr. Ramasamy for your reminder to deliver on Pakatan Harapan’s GE14 Manifesto Promises

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant National Director for Political Education for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on the 1st of July, 2019

In my speech on the 28th of June, 2019 at the launch of the IDEAS 2nd Project Pantau Report card, I asked the public to continue reminding Pakatan Harapan of our GE14 Manifesto promises so that we will continue to feel the pressure of delivering on our promises before the next general election. I also mentioned that one of the most vocal groups of people in reminding the government of our GE14 Manifesto promises is our PH backbenchers through various internal channels. I failed to mention that some of our own state assembly representatives (ADUNS) are equally vocal in their reminders, albeit through more public channels.

I would like to thank Deputy Chief Minister of Penang, Dr. Ramasamy of his latest reminder that it is “not too late to deliver on PH’s election promises!” published on his Facebook page.[1] As much as I appreciate Dr. Ramasamy’s reminder, it would have been a more constructive note if he could have systematically gone through the very detailed report card produced by IDEAS which evaluated the progress which Pakatan Harapan had made on 224 sub-promises found in the manifesto[2] instead of merely responding to a headline in a Malaysiakini article.[3] His Facebook note does not do justice to the extensive work done by IDEAS and the fact that IDEAS statement on the ‘unrealistic’ promises found in the manifesto was directed at a SMALL number of promises namely the target of 1 million affordable houses in 10 years and setting the income contingent level of PTPTN loan repayment to start at RM4000 per month.

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We have the internal resilience to face future economic challenges

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 20th of June, 2019

Dr. KS Jomo’s remarks to reporters at the sidelines of the Malaysian Economic Convention 2019 on Monday, 17th of June, 2019 was widely reported in the press. Specifically, he mentioned that “This is going to be a very, very tough time because the external situation is very bad and is deteriorating almost on a daily basis” He also added that “many of these problems are beyond the control of the Malaysian government”.[1]

I concur with Dr. Jomo’s view that the external economic circumstances continue to be very challenging, especially in the light of recent developments in the US-China economic relationship. I also agree that many of these challenges are caused by factors beyond the control of the Malaysian government.

When the US-China trade war was restricted to the area of tariffs on goods and services, Malaysia could at least benefit from some short-run trade and investment diversions. This can mitigate some of the longer term negative consequences of the trade war. For example, NOMURA has estimated that Malaysia will be the 4th largest beneficiary of the US-China trade war as a result of trade diversion.[2]

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National Implications of the Sandakan By-Election Results

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant National Director for Political Education for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on the 13th of May, 2019

The Sandakan parliament by-election results provided a much needed morale booster to Pakatan Harapan (PH) after 3 successive by-election defeats in Cameron Highlands (parliament), Semenyih (state) and Rantau (state). Sandakan also provides some important lessons and implications for PH at the national level. To deliver Sandakan’s ‘winning formula’ to other parts of Malaysia is definitely more challenging but not impossible.

Summary of Results

The expectation was that with a reduced turnout, DAP would have its majority of approximately 10,000 votes from GE14 cut significantly. But despite overall turnout falling from 71.9% in GE14 to 54.4% in the by-election, DAP managed to increase its vote share by 7.4% from 66.8% in GE14 to 74.2% in the by-election. With this increase in vote share and the presence of independent candidates which siphoned away 5.1% of total votes (presumably from PBS), DAP was able to increase its majority to 11521 in the by-election (See Table 1).

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