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DAP’s “democratisation” of politics and the economy

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GEORGE TOWN, Dec 15  –  The DAP rolled out today a bevy of ideas for an ideal Pakatan Rakyat (PR) federal rule, pledging efforts to narrow the country’s income gap, plug government leakages and equalise revenue distribution between east and west Malaysia.

Lim Guan Eng pledged to narrow the country’s income gap, plug government leakages and equalise revenue distribution between east and west Malaysia.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng termed this as the “democratisation” of politics and the economy, adding that this would ensure that every Malaysian would allow a fair shot at enjoying the country’s riches.

“We don’t want anyone to be left behind,” Lim said in his policy speech at the DAP’s 16th national congress this morning.

Lim, who is also Penang Chief Minister, said that Malaysia’s worrying Gini coefficient (measure of the inequality of wealth distribution) shows that the country has the “second largest” income gap in all of Asia.

“We can see how terrible the income gap is when government wants to give RM500 for orang susah (the poor), 60 per cent qualify to receive BR1M, (this is) because 60 per cent of the people susah (are poor).”

Lim was taking a swipe at the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) scheme where a one-off aid of RM500 is given to families with a monthly household income of less than RM3,000.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had this September announced a second phase of the BR1M, which would this time benefit single youths who earn less than RM2,000 a month.

Lim also proposed six steps to tackle corruption, including the awarding of contracts through open tenders and the protection of whistleblowers who provide information.

Leaders with a luxurious lifestyle should also be rejected, while family members of those in power should be barred from being involved in government contracts, Lim said.

He also said Cabinet ministers should declare their assets, and political parties should disclose the source of political donations.  –  MI