KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 — Barisan Nasional’s candidate for Ampang, Ivone Low Yi Wen, has today downplayed accusations that the coalition is attempting to bribe voters by offering a household basic income in its 15th general election (GE15) manifesto.
Speaking at a forum on manifestos and policies ahead of GE15, Low said that the coalition has instead proposed the policy to help the nation to deal with the high inflation rate in the years to come.
“The purpose of doing it is not to bribe the voters but to help them to face the inflation rate in the coming two to three years, because inflation is a global issue.
“That’s why this is the biggest focus we have in our manifesto,” Low replied when asked by the moderator about her claim that BN wishes to eradicate hardline poverty.
Earlier in the event, she said that BN pledges to provide a universal minimum household wage of RM2,208 with the aim of eradicating hardline poverty in five years' time.
“If one family is earning RM1,500, BN as the government would top up another RM708 to achieve that level, which is the bottom line of hardline poverty in Malaysia,” she added.
Low, 29, who is also one of the youngest candidates in the GE15, then said that her party would continually study and research to make sure that the subsidies keep up with the rising costs of living.
However, she claimed she is too inexperienced to provide a satisfactory answer when asked by the moderator to explain where would BN get the necessary fund to implement such an ambitious project.
“Without any experience of governing, I cannot tell you where does the funding come from but the country’s income relies a lot on GDP, import and export, and the taxes from the people.
“In fact, we are striving to stabilise the politics to speed up the recovery of the economy, I believe that a stable country has no trouble in getting foreign investors and getting the income needed,” said Low.
The forum titled “Manifesto and Policies: Who’s better?” was held at Gerakbudaya bookstore today and also involved Perikatan Nasional’s Hafiz Hood, Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for Setiawangsa Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Socialist Party of Malaysia’s (PSM) president Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, and Malaysian United Democratic Alliance's (Muda) Zaidel Baharuddin.
On November 7, BN offered its most ambitious election manifesto promising all Malaysian households a minimum monthly income of RM2,208 if the coalition were to win the 15th general election.
They also highlighted a two per cent income tax deduction for those in the M40 to increase their purchase power and reduce their financial burden.