The lack of mention of specific groups and certain issues in its manifesto is because Pakatan wants to steer clear of BN's usual goodie handout strategy and move on to fixing society and the economy structurally and as a whole and not address problems in piecemeal.

"We want to target the big common problems that impacts everyone. Fixing the economy for example, will solve 30 to 40 percent of the problems faced by these groups," PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli told Malaysiakini today.

Rafizi, who sits on the committee which drafted the document, was asked to explain why Pakatan did not directly deal with the issue of disabled rights and the plight of Malaysian Indians, as well as the omission of major issues in its manifesto launched in Shah Alam yesterday.

He argued that the opposition pact wants to target the common denominators that effect everyone, which is why there has been no mention of specific groups.

"We want to avoid the BN way of giving goodies to everyone, to farmers, to fishermen, to teachers... if we do that, we will have everyone in here," he said.

Rafizi explained that they wanted to produce a document that formulates policy, and not a goodie-list.

The manifesto, he said, is a policy document that sets broad policies which will then be fleshed out with actual programs, and articulated through further deliberations.

"The manifesto is general, not specific like the budget, many people mistake the two."

Whereas, some issues like the goods and services tax (GST) and freedom of information were not discussed as it has already been explained in other Pakatan documents, he said.

"You will have to read those together with the manifesto. We do not want to replicate previous documents like the Pakatan common policy framework and the Buku Jingga, or people will say that we recycle old stuff."

On the absence of any mention of local elections, Rafizi noted that Pakatan has not yet reached an agreement on how to implement the local government polls.

"We did not put issues which has not reached the consensus of the pact," he said.

The absence of the traditional specific target groups and issues that have been the backbone of Pakatan’s campaigning in the opposition pact's manifesto launched yesterday, raised eyebrows and the ire of many, with some groups like the disabled rights activists crying foul over the matter.

~ Malaysiakini