Kit Siang: Long road ahead for Pakatan to restore public trust

Yiswaree Palansamy
DAP’s Lim Kit Siang says PH is now faced with an uphill task to restore public trust in its government and national institutions, although this is also a critical issue worldwide. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — DAP veteran and Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang today reminded the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration of its long and daunting task to restore public confidence in the government.

He pointed to a recent report, the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, which highlighted the growing distrust among the public, towards governments and its institutions. 

Lim said after close to 21 months of the historic transition of power on May 9, 2018, PH is now faced with an uphill task to restore public trust in its government and national institutions, although this is also a critical issue worldwide.

Lim advised Malaysians to be wary about the influx of fake news and the deepfake technology that is used to spread misinformation.

“A new report released last week found widespread global distrust in societal institutions — defined as government, business, NGOs and the media — despite a strong global economy, a phenomenon it deemed a “trust paradox”.

“The report concluded that people’s fears about the future are driving this trend, and proposed institutions prioritise balancing competence with ethical behaviour to rebuild public trust.

“Despite the strong global economy, the report found that globally, 83 per cent of employees are worried about losing their jobs to reasons including automation, a looming recession, lack of training, cheaper foreign competition, immigration and the gig economy. The Barometer found that none of the four institutions it asked about — government, business, NGOs and the media — are trusted,” Lim said in a statement.

Citing the report by Edelman, Lim said that on the contrary, wealthier and more educated individuals trusted institutions more than the rest of the population, which it described as the “mass-class” trust divide. He said that the report found that this divide reached record levels in a record number of countries.

Lim also pivoted attention to Transparency International's (TI) recent Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2019 Report, which placed Malaysia near the country’s best TI CPI score of 53 out of 100 in 25 years.

He said this is proof that Malaysia is on the right track to recover from almost a decade of “global kleptocracy”.

“There are those who say they do not want to listen to the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal and the other corruption scandals of the past administration, but I believe the overwhelming majority of Malaysians are not so unreasonable for without the ravages of the past, Malaysia would be able to make a quicker turnaround and achieve greater progress in the past 21 months.

“Be that as it may, the long hard road back for the Pakatan Harapan government to restore public trust and confidence must lie in its ability in 2020 to deliver the promises which resulted in the historic decision in the 2018 general election for a peaceful and democratic transition of power for the first time in six decades,” he added. 

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