KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Barisan Nasional's promises outlined in its 21-page election manifesto are "realistic and responsible" and not merely empty promises, its chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
"Our promises must be based on an awareness that the responsibility is on us to deliver. They are not empty promises or just to entertain the people, or irresponsible promises. We are not like that," he said in launching the Barisan manifesto entitled "Security, Peace and Prosperity" and its campaign website (www.BN2008.org.my) at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
The manifesto contains a progress report on 76 major Barisan achievements in various sectors, he said.
"These are just the major ones and there are more. But if all the achievements are to be compiled, the report would be twice as thick," he said.
Abdullah said the Opposition's manifestos reflected their desperation and they not only failed to convince Barisan but also the people.
"PAS and DAP are each with their own ways, their own manifesto. Theirs is just an alliance of convenience.
"They cannot convince the Government or the people with their different stands and different ideologies that are uncompromising," he said.
Abdullah said the Government spent RM43.4bil last year to help the people counter rising prices of global crude oil and commodities. Of this, RM35bil was for fuel subsidies.
"It is not possible to reduce fuel prices but what is important is that we are able to take measures to reduce the people's expenditure," he said.
He also said that RM29bil was spent on education while the Government subsidised 98% of the cost for health care.
Top photo (NST): Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (fourth from left) and his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Razak (third from left), looking through the manifesto at the launch yesterday. With him are (from left) Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.