It has been 11 months since Pakatan Harapan (Pakatan) won GE14 and governed the country. The rakyat and opposition parties have been watching the govt’s every move throughout this duration. And just recently, a message entitled “10 months of Pakatan Harapan” has been circulating in BN chatgroups.
The message listed out 10 things that the govt did (or didn’t do) including Pakatan’s broken promises and the alleged implications of it. But how far are these claims true? Let’s find out using a FITNAH FACTOR scale which rates if the claims are true (0% fitnah) or false (100% fitnah) below!
1. CLAIM: Rome Statute was signed without the consent of Conference of Rulers or Parliament
Just in case ugaiz missed it, the govt has recently signed an international treaty called the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) aka Rome Statute which has upset several civil groups, who protested against this treaty. You can read more about what the Rome Statute is here.
The claim that the govt signed the treaty without the consent of Conference of Rulers and parliament might be true. The foreign minister, Saifuddin Abdullah had defended it by stating that it wasn’t necessary to have the conference of rulers’ consent anyway. Apparently, the Federal Constitution stated that the federal govt has executive powers over any foreign matters, which includes signing international treaties like the Rome Statute.
Saifuddin also added:
“According to the Federal Constitution, such consent (from the Conference of Rulers) is only needed when it involves constitutional amendments to nine items, and Malaysia acceding to the Rome Statute does not come under the nine.” – to Malaysiakini.
Although Saifuddin’s argument may be sound, it is pretty debatable too since the Constitution also stated that certain laws that directly affects the privileges and position of Rulers should not be passed without the consent of the Conference of Rulers.
2. CLAIM: Non-Muslims hold top govt position and are in charge of Tabung Haji assets
When Pakatan took over Putrajaya, there were a number of ministerial and top govt positions that were filled by non-Muslims. For instance, Lim Guan Eng was appointed as the Finance Minister, Tommy Thomas as the Attorney General and Richard Malanjum as the Chief Justice.
But is this even legal in the first place? Well, Hanipa Maidin, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, clarified that the Federal Constitution does not state any racial or religious requirement for the post of Prime Minister and cabinet members.
Although the first part of this claim is true, the second part of it may not entirely be true.
This is because Tabung Haji’s assets are actually under the jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry’s (MOF) special purpose vehicle called Urusharta Jemaah Sdn Bhd. However, at the time of writing, it wasn’t even revealed who Urusharta Jemaah’s board of directors are. This was done after its former chairperson, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, allegedly misused RM22 million meant for Yayasan Tabung Haji.
3. CLAIM: Justice for Adib is being delayed
The Seafield temple incident that happened last year had cost the life of Muhammad Adib Kassim – one of the fireman present at the scene. The police has re-classified his case from attempted murder to murder under the Penal Code’s Section 302.
After that, an inquest was recently issued by the Attorney General Tommy Thomas to shed light into the circumstances surrounding Adib’s death. Fyi, an inquest is somewhat like a police investigation but, unlike a police investigation, an inquest is made public.
That’s probably why UMNO’s acting president, Datuk Seri Mohammad Hassan, questioned the needs for this inquest.
“The people are now looking at whether the government complies with the ‘Rule of Law’ or simply using legal procedures to delay justice.” – Mohammad Hassan wrote to NST.
Aside from him, M Visanathan, a lawyer, claimed that an inquest isn’t really necessary as police investigation would be more comprehensive in determining Adib’s death. He also added that an inquest couldn’t be conducted in the first place since the police has classified the case as murder and have started their investigation.
So, is the claim that justice for Adib is being delayed by the govt true? We gave it a 50% because it is pretty debatable.
4. CLAIM: The govt recognised UEC graduate
Unless you graduated from a private Chinese secondary school, then you may not be familiar with the term UEC (Unified Examination Certificate). Long story short, UEC existed because the govt stopped giving exams to private Chinese secondary schools after the 1961 Education Act was established. So, the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) came up with the first ever standardised exams for these Chinese schools called the UEC.
The debate on whether the govt should be recognising UEC has been going on even before Pakatan won GE14 la. The previous govt didn’t wanna recognise it because the govt claimed that it doesn’t follow the national education system. But when the Pakatan govt wanted to recognise UEC, many Malay-Muslim groups actually protested against the idea as it may cause fracture in national unity.
At the time of writing, UEC isn’t even recognised by the Education Ministry (MOE) yet but the govt is still in the process of studying the policy to recognise it and the full report will be completed in July.
And although there are news that students with UEC are eligible to sit for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) Examination, MOE denied that the move was made by the ministry.
5. CLAIM: The govt failed to reduce prices of goods and petrol besides abolishing tolls and PTPTN
One of the promises made by the govt was to abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and it kept its promise. However, when the govt introduced the Sales and Service Tax (SST) to replace GST, the price of goods seemed to hike a bit. And because of this, Guan Eng actually stated that the govt didn’t promise that the prices would reduce after the implementation of SST. However, the prices of goods reportedly reduced after a while!
On the other hand, the govt is using a weekly price float system for petrol prices. This would mean that the prices may increase or decrease depending on the average price of global crude oil. However, the govt is also subsidising the price of RON95 and diesel to ensure that both prices remain at RM2.20 and RM2.18 per litre respectively although the average crude oil prices increase.
Another false statement is about the National Higher Education Corporation Fund (PTPTN). The Pakatan govt actually denied that it had promised to abolish PTPTN entirely. Well, let’s revisit its manifesto again…
The PTPTN chairman, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, had apologised to the public its inability to keep its promise… even tho they didn’t actually promise that. But even if the govt wanna abolish PTPTN, it may not be possible and this was also admitted by our former
bossku Prime Minister, Najib Razak. He said that the money could be used for many important causes to help the rakyat.
Although a huge part of this claim is fitnah, there is a smol part of the claim which may be true la.
Another promise made by Pakatan was to abolish tolls and it also kept its promise… after announcing to abolish tolls at both the Penang bridges and Malaysia-Singapore Second Link. And it was only done for motorcyclists. So, the claim made in the message is only 20% tru la cos the govt didn’t abolish ALL tolls.
While some people may argue that Pakatan capati its janji, Dr Mahathir actually defended the govt’s decision by saying that it is expensive to abolish ALL tolls and even without tolls, people may still need to pay a certain amount of money. Well, cos without money, then how the govt wanna fix all the holes in the road??
6. CLAIM: The govt took RM82bil from Petronas
One of the things tabled during the Budget 2019 was how the govt decided to take some funds from Petronas. And it took RM54bil, not RM82bil as the viral message claimed. So, das why we gave this claim a 30% tru cos it had the wrong amount of money (which differed by RM30bil).
But why did this happen tho?
When the previous govt introduced GST, the govt has a GST refund account to repay some amount of GST claimed by suppliers. However, when Guan Eng and the gang took over Putrajaya, they found out that the amount of money in the refund account was RM1.48 billion in it when there should’ve been RM19.4 billion although there were reports stating that refunds were not made. This has caused the govt to owe the public and companies RM37bil in GST refunds.
And because of this, Petronas reportedly gave a special dividend of RM30bil on top of its usual dividend of RM24bil (increment from previous years because of how well the company is doing) to help the govt settle the GST refunds issue la. While this may sound like nothing to you, it would mean that Petronas’ credit rating (reputation) would be downgraded, hence, affecting the country’s reputation too la. And when this happens, the govt may not have money to spend on us! But that may not happen and if you wanna know why, you can read more here.
7. CLAIM: Dropped the tunnel graft case and recognise LGBT
Penang has been planning to build an undersea tunnel since 2011 but sometime last year, it has been investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissions (MACC) because it has allegedly been involved with corruption.
Fast forward to today, controversial blogger, Raja Petra Kamarudin, has recently brought the graft allegations back. Thanks to his allegation, the company involved in the project, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, was being investigated by MACC… again. At the time of writing, there isn’t any news that MACC or the govt is dropping the case. As a matter of fact, a ‘Datuk Seri’ would be charged on Wednesday (3rd April) for allegedly accepting RM19mil to cover up the investigations on the project.
As for the claims about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community being recognised in Malaysia, there isn’t any proof that their rights are even being protected here. In fact, Dr Mahathir reportedly rejected the National Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) defence on the LGBT community by stating that their lifestyle isn’t a part of Malaysia’s system.
Heck, the Tourism Minister recently claimed that there isn’t such thing as an LGBT community here.
8. CLAIM: EU banned and the Philippines refused to import palm oil from Malaysia
Unless ugaiz have been living under a rock, then you might have heard of the palm oil ban by the European Commission (EU). The reason EU banned palm oil was deforestation. But apparently, EU actually made some exemptions to this ban. It was reported that the Commission proposed that producers would be exempted from this ban if they can show that they had intensified yields. But this exemption was reportedly debatable.
Aside from the EU, the Philippines reportedly sought a temporary ban on palm oil recently because the country has been importing palm oil too much. This has caused a drop in local coconut prices to compete with the price of palm oil which is waaaay cheaper than coconut oil. In addition, the Philippines wants to work together with Malaysia and Indonesia to tackle the issue of alleged palm oil smuggling and dumping in the country.
9. CLAIM: Issuing Samurai bond from Japan isn’t an investment of Japan in our country
Not too long ago, the Finance Ministry decided to issue a Samurai bond (which is just basically the name of the bond from Japan). And while it may not sound like a big deal, the message claimed that the bond issued by our govt isn’t really an investment from Japan itself. But chup, are bonds actually equivalent to investments?
As it turns out, bonds are one of the types of investments besides cash equivalent and stocks. In fact, bonds are said to be a more stable investment compared to the other two types of investments. That is because it provides a steady flow of income to the country. We’ve explained what bonds are and how they work in this article.
So, bringing this concept to the Samurai bond context, Japan is indirectly investing in Malaysia lor. And if anyone still wanna argue that Japan isn’t investing through the bond, well here’s something for you to ponder. Japan is actually one of the largest investors in the manufacturing industry and the second-largest in the service industry! In fact, about 40% of them said that they wanna expand business in Malaysia.
10. CLAIM: Various economic issues
Since there are tooooooo many things to verify under this final point, we’ll divide them based on their respective fitnah factors. 🙂
10.1 Stocks are depreciating in value
The claim that the stocks are depreciating might be true as there were reports stating that the performance of stock in Malaysia was pretty bad last year. This was reportedly because investors were trying to adjust to a new govt lead by Dr Mahathir who was trying to find a way to pay the national debt. It was reported that Dr Mahathir’s move to do that had somewhat affected the stock market.
10.2 The govt is selling national assets in bulk
The claim on national assets being sold in bulk may or may not be true since, at the time of writing, there isn’t exactly a list of what has been sold at what price. The only thing that most of us might have heard of is that the govt is considering to sell some assets like Khazanah-owned Legoland Malaysia Resort or Malaysia Airlines (MAS). This is probably why economic analyst, Hoo Ke Ping, pointed out the importance for the govt to be transparent in the sale of state-owned assets.
The final two points made under this claim would be combined since both have the same rating.
10.3 National debt increased by RM55bil and ringgit value depreciates
The claim that national debt increased by RM55bil might not be true since the current national debt announced by Guan Eng is RM1 trillion. This amount includes federal govt’s debt (RM686.8bil), govt guarantees (RM199.1bil) and lease payments for public-private projects (RM201.4bil). Just recently, he reportedly announced that the national debt is still at RM1 trillion but the govt managed to reduce the figure to less than the previous RM1.087 trillion.
Another claim that might not be true is about the ringgit value. This is because it was reported that the ringgit has a potential to increase in value against the US dollars this year. This would mean that the ringgit is doing better la, at least according to Bank Negara Malaysia.
Some viral messages are actually true!? 😮
As it turns out, not all viral messages are fake. While there are plenty of real fake viral messages out there, there are some real, legit messages that are being forwarded around like this message that has been circulating in BN chatgroups or the ones about having a supporting documents to change your address in your IC.
But regardless of how tru or fitnah a message can be, it may be important to verify it first before sharing it. And it’s easier to do that now since there are websites and groups like sebenarnya.my and our Real Fake News Malaysia’s Facebook page. And if you’re still unsure if the message is tru anot, it may be best not to share it lor. Just like sebenarnya.my’s motto:
“Jangan kongsi kalau tidak pasti.”
Oh, and if you’re still reading this, then give yourself a…