MMO - Populist pledges will ruin Malaysia, think tank says ahead of GE14
Saturday, February 24, 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 ― Centre For A Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) has warned against rising populist pledges ahead of the 14th general elections (GE14), such as promises free plastic bags and abolishing tolls.

The think tank said such pledges would be detrimental to the country’s long-term interest and would be devastating socio-economically.

“Any economist can attest that many of these pledges harm the country in the long-run. The country's long-term well-being should not be sacrificed for short-term electoral gains,” its co-president Gan Ping Sieu said in a statement.

“Elected representatives should remember that they are ‘leaders’, not ‘followers’. It would be a crying shame for aspiring leaders to sacrifice the nation's interests for the sake of popularity at the ballot boxes.”

The group said it champions good governance, and therefore the trend worries them.

“With the country facing ever more complex global challenges, one would expect the political leadership to come up with sustainable, out-of-the-box solutions, and not engage in one-upmanship that can lead us down a slippery slope of socio-economic devastation,” Gan said.

The group also urged voters to be discerning while casting ballots and not fall for “sweet promises that will bring about bitter results”.

“When voters reject populism, aspirants for public office would be incentivised to come up with sound policies that put the nation at heart,” he said.

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