TAWARAN Anak Muda (an offer to youths) will be Pakatan Harapan’s signature policy pitch to young adults as it seeks to counter Barisan Nasional’s TN50 (Transformasi Nasional 2050) which has been making waves among this crucial electorate.
The “tawaran” will be unveiled in the next two months together with the opposition coalition’s common manifesto for GE14, said PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
The Selangor government exco member said tawaran’s concrete set of policy proposals was superior to TN50’s “bling”.
“Tawaran”, which means “offer” in Bahasa Malaysia will include policy proposals such as free tertiary education for all and changes to housing policies to make it easier for young adults to own a home.
“You take for example, TN50 says the youth want Bangsa Malaysia to be a reality by 2050. But in Pakatan we are offering Bangsa Malaysia now, as in, 2017 or 2018 whenever you vote us into power.
“To us there is no need to wait till 2050 to see Bangsa Malaysia realised because we will do it now if elected together with better education, housing and jobs.
“The people will see through TN50 and believe instead the strength of our message. (Tawaran) may not have the bling of TN50 but people will see it is better.”
Nik Nazmi said the tawaran will also include a move to make it more affordable for football fans to watch English Premier League and Spanish La Liga football matches.
“The common manifesto has policies on education, jobs and housing, so we will take the youth components and package them in a tawaran and sell it to PH Youth,” said Nik Nazmi in an interview with The Malaysian Insight.
He said the Najib administration’s current policies targeted towards youth such as PR1MA (1Malaysia Affordable Homes Scheme) have not been able to achieve their targets of helping youth adults own homes.
“Many PR1MA applications get rejected as the young adults applying for them are disqualified because they are unable to meet their PTPTN obligations,” he said, referring to the national tertiary education loan scheme.
The final list of policies is being worked out among all youth leaders in PH’s four parties – PKR, DAP, Amanah and Bersatu – together with the committee in charge of the coalition’s common manifesto.
Nik Nazmi handles the education, science, technology and innovation portfolios in the PH Selangor government.
As one of the coalition’s four Youth chiefs, he is tasked with marshalling the support of voters below 40 and first-time voters which could make up one-third of all voters in GE14.
Tawaran is coming out months after the BN started its TN50 initiative which is directed at youths to get their ideas on what policies they would like to see in the next three decades beyond 2020.
The TN50 has seen Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin holding crowded town hall meetings and dialogue sessions with young adults throughout the country.
Detractors, however, claimed that TN50 is a way for the Najib administration to gradually steer away from the Wawasan 2020 policy which was started by former prime minister-turned PH leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
There is a sense that PH and its youth movements have lagged behind the BN in coming out with an initiative to rival the TN50 given that GE14 is speculated to be not far away.
Nik Nazmi admits TN50 has gained traction but argues that it is a public relations blitz without a “big idea” of its own.