Malaysia Baru is a term coined by Malaysians after the nation changed its government for the first time in over six decades, or since independence.
It was initiated on May 10, 2018, when Pakatan Harapan (PH) defeated Barisan Nasional (BN) in the GE-14.
Ironically, the nation witnessed the return of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to lead the new Malaysia.
In its first month of governance, PH faced numerous challenges, particularly the 10 promises in 100 days.
The new government was pressured by the opposition to fulfil the promises made in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto.
For the 10 promises in 100 days, not all of them were fulfilled within the time frame. The one fulfilled was the abolishment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which was later replaced with the reintroduction of the Sales and Services Tax (SST).
One example of an unfulfilled promise is the abolishment of unnecessary debts that were imposed on Felda settlers.
Besides the promises, PH was also criticised for accepting former UMNO members in less than a month after taking over the government. Notably, former minister Tan Sri Rais Yatim joined Bersatu on June 4, 2018.
Additionally, former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was pardoned the then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V in May 2018.
From that moment, the issue of power transition from Mahathir to Anwar was initiated.
In October 2018, Anwar made his return to politics by winning the Port Dickson parliamentary seat.
It was a controversial by-election as the seat incumbent Danyal Balagopal stepped down without a solid reason such as health problem, paving the way for Anwar to become a member of parliament.
There were unfulfilled promises, accepting former UMNO members and questionable appointment.
Today, Pakatan Harapan still face similar issues. Unfulfilled promises are still the issues raised by the opposition to attack the government.
For example, increasing the oil royalty payment to Sabah and Sarawak from 5% to 20%.
On the other hand, former UMNO member Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak is applying to join PKR. Meanwhile, PKR president Anwar is open to Salleh’s membership application.
Moreover, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) recently pointed out that the PH government is still practising political appointment in Malaysia Baru.
The name of the political appointees made waves on the media, most of them were PH politicians that were defeated in GE-14.
Consequently, the term Malaysia Baru is no longer as positive as it sounds compared to when it was first coined by Malaysians in May 2018.
Unfortunately, the term Malaysia Baru is now used by Malaysians to sarcastically criticise the government.