'Politicians capitalise on public indifference, making unrealistic promises'

18 Nov 2023 07:30am
Photo for illustration purposes only. - BERNAMA FILE PIX
Photo for illustration purposes only. - BERNAMA FILE PIX

PETALING JAYA - Politicians are taking advantage of the public's apathy by making empty promises they know they will not keep, according to former lawmaker Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Zaid, who is a prominent critic of the Malaysian political landscape said that politicians were well aware that they could get away with making unrealistic pledges because voters were not serious enough to hold them accountable.

"Our people were never serious.

"Do you think the voters will take this seriously?," he said.

He pointed out that politicians often make grand promises in their manifestos, knowing full well that they will not be able to fulfill them.

"Deep inside these politicians know they will get the votes next time in the next election.

"So in the name of fulfilling the manifesto, they will do the minor things that will ease the rakyat's burden," he added.

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Zaid's comments came amid growing frustration among Malaysians over the perceived lack of progress made by the unity government coalition.

Despite forming a government with the aim of fulfilling their respective party manifestos, the coalition has been plagued by allegations of unfulfilled promises.

Zaid's remarks were reminiscent of a similar statement made by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2018.

Following the Pakatan Harapan coalition's victory in the 2018 general election, Dr Mahathir drew a comparison between the ruling coalition's manifesto and the Bible.

The now infamous statement drew criticism from many, who accused Dr Mahathir of undermining the importance of the manifesto.

Zaid's latest comments highlighted the deep-seated cynicism that many Malaysians have towards their politicians.

While the public was eager for change and progress, they were also wary of making the same mistakes they have made in the past.

It remained to be seen whether the unity government coalition will be able to address the public's concerns and fulfill their promises.

If they failed to do so, they risk losing the trust of the people and paving the way for a return to the old ways of Malaysian politics.