PAS manifesto pledges cheaper homes, interest-free loans for first car

PAS president Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang looks at a copy of the manifesto during the Syarahan Perdana and Malaysia Sejahtera manifesto launch by Gagasan Sejahtera at Astana Banquet Hall, Cyberjaya March 18, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
PAS president Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang looks at a copy of the manifesto during the Syarahan Perdana and Malaysia Sejahtera manifesto launch by Gagasan Sejahtera at Astana Banquet Hall, Cyberjaya March 18, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

CYBERJAYA, March 19 — In its election manifesto, PAS is offering interest-free loans to Malaysian first-time car buyers and promised to reduce affordable housing prices by up to RM180,000.

PAS said it will assist those buying their first cars with a maximum 1,300 cc engine by excluding excise duty and through Qardul Hasan or an interest-free loan.

Also in its 25-page manifesto for the 14th general elections (GE14) is the promise of free school bus services to reduce the burden of parents, as well as to restructure highway toll rates by revising toll concession agreements that exceed 15 years.

PAS said it will cut down affordable housing prices by between RM50,000 to RM180,000, but did not immediately elaborate how this would be done.

These promises are part of 20 main offers under the PAS-led pact Gagasan Sejahtera’s manifesto which carries the theme “Malaysia Sejahtera” or for Malaysia’s wellbeing.

Under the list of 20 offers are also a one-off RM2,000 cash aid to career women as capital to start working from home and a national programme for monthly essential food aid to the poor.

It also wanted to increase the number of specialist doctors and specialist hospitals to match the United Nations’ recommended ratio for populations, as well as revise the ratio of security personnel to communities to reduce crime rates.

As for other plans in the manifesto, PAS also intends to reintroduce subsidies for petrol and diesel in a form that is more “equal and flexible” while taking into account Malaysians’ needs and the government’s burden.

Of more transport, power, housing

If voted into power, PAS promised to introduce a cheap and efficient public transport system for suburban and rural areas; to explore new methods of car ownership such as a leasing scheme (al-ijarah) that will skip the need for bank loans; as well as to liberalise the Authorised Permit (AP) system for imported items such as car, construction materials and food.

PAS pledged to reduce electricity tariff rates by five to 10 per cent depending on the type of residence; to have Malaysians and the government share the cost for affordable housing schemes such as through sukuk al-ijarah or ownership sharing between individuals or organisations.

PAS said it would check the method of land awards to property developers with a view to reduce land prices and ultimately trim housing prices; also saying it would stabilise housing prices through the control of construction material prices.

Federal Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) was the first to unveil its GE14 manifesto and had launched it 10 days ahead of PAS, with promises to gradually abolish highway tolls and to cut excise duties for imported cars below 1,600 cc for first-time car buyers.

Unlike the PH manifesto that had boldly promised to achieve 10 items in 100 days and 60 promises in five years if voted in, the PAS manifesto did not contain timeframes on when it would achieve its pledges.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition’s GE14 manifesto is expected to be launched on April 7, local daily New Straits Times has reported.

GE14 must be held by this August, but may be called earlier.