The Star Online|Malaysia 13th General Election

GE13: PM unveils action-oriented Barisan Nasional manifesto (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday unveiled a people-centric Barisan Nasional manifesto focusing on an action plan to raise the quality of life of all Malaysians in the next five years.

Unlike previous manifestos which provided a broad overview of the coalition's policies, the new manifesto themed “A Promise of Hope” offers focused, compelling and concrete pledges that will also spur the country's economic growth.

Over the next five years, Barisan will, among others gradually raise the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) payment from RM500 to RM1,200 for households and RM600 for singles which will be maintained on an annual basis and to build 1 million units of affordable homes.

Other highlights include the construction of a 2,300km Pan Borneo highway stretching from Sematan near Lundu located at the western most tip of Sarawak to Serudong near Tawau in the east coast of Sabah.

To ensure continuous strong economic growth, the manifesto has outlined detailed plans to attract RM1.3 trillion worth of investments and to create 3.3 million new jobs over the next five years.

In explaining why the country's 13.3 million voters should stick to Barisan, the manifesto presented the coalition as one that has a track record on delivering all its pledges to bring 55 years of undeniable success to the country.

“We will continue to build on this track record - now is not the time for risks. Do not experiment with our future,” the manifesto said.

The manifesto argued that Malaysia needed a strong government to safeguard its achievements and one that was capable of delivering the national transformation agenda towards achieving a fully developed high income nation.

The manifestio also pointed out that Barisan practiced an effective power sharing formula and abhorred the politics of hatred and division, and that it was committed to sharing the people's hopes and aspirations.

To address an escalating cost of living faced by many Malaysians especially in urban areas, Barisan would introduce a range of measures that would allow the people greater access to affordable goods and services ranging from essential goods, internet broadband, healthcare and education.

To ensure a steady supply of affordable housing, the manifesto offers initiatives to make it easier for the people to own homes, such as through a new lease and own scheme for government housing projects, and to assist poor and low income home owners to rehabilitate their houses.

With 70% of Malaysians now living in urban areas, a new ministry will be set up to handle urban affairs and to address public transportation, expand the Rapid bus system to every state capital, complete with facilities for the aged and the disabled.

To improve access to quality health services, new measures will be introduced, including the setting up of heart and cancer centres in major hospitals nationwide, and the introduction of a support system for the home care of the aged and terminally ill.

To provide the people with better road infrastructure, the manifesto pledged to ensure rapid expansion of the North-South Expressway with more lanes and exit points.

The manifesto also contains commitments to help preserve the country's natural resources, including more financial incentives to commercial and private premises which invest in renewable green energy resources such as biomass and solar.

On the international front, Barisan will continue to pursue a foreign policy that mirrors the country's image as a moderate and progressive Muslim country.

Among others, the manifesto said that a Barisan government will vie for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to play a more prominent role in regional peace and international security through the policy of moderation.

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