My door’s always open, Dr M tells tenderfoot ministers

23-Apr-2019 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:38 AM Print This Post

Prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad acknowledged the inexperience of some ministers in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration but said he is always ready to provide guidance despite having to take on more burden himself.

In an interview with English daily The Star today, he explained that this was to be expected from a new ruling coalition, adding that he considered it an achievement to see the disparate PH parties sharing power.

“They (inexperienced minister) can come and see me quite often all the others know that at any time at all, they want to see me, I never reject.

“If they are unsure about anything, they do come to me because they know I have had experience of 22 years as the prime minister. Then, I would be able to advise them as to what they need to do.

“But of course, the burden is heavy. What I am doing now is three times more of what I did when I was the prime minister for the first time. I have to work the whole day,” he told The Star.

Dr Mahathir said the Cabinet has been supportive of his leadership and that the ministers would agree to his view despite differences between one another.

“(That) we can work as a good coalition government is an achievement. The Cabinet has been very supportive, I must say, that when there is a difference among the ministers, they go according to my views as they want to be seen as united,” he said, citing the choice to go with his say instead a call to vote on a decision among the ministers as an example.

“So, there is quite a good loyalty (to the prime minister).”

Although committed to fulfilling the manifesto pledges despite the financial limitations faced, Dr Mahathir reiterated that some of the promises were made when they were the Opposition and had not expected to win.

However, he said some of the pledges drawn were made by the PH leaders a while back, such as the abolition of tolls, which he said he knew from experience would be difficult to deliver.

“I know how much it cost to build a road we had to spend money maintaining it and all that. But they are just thinking about popularity, some kind of socialist thinking don’t pay tax but we will give you money. That kind of thinking does not work. Practically, it doesn’t work.

“… once you are experienced in this area, you know how far you can go. But they are not experienced. So, in drafting the manifesto, lots of things were promised which are impossible to carry out,” The Star quoted him as saying.

When asked on the criticism for straying from the manifesto, Dr Mahathir said the previous Barisan Nasional had also not been able to fulfil its promises.

“The people who criticise us from the previous government know very well (that) they did not do it (keep promises) either. They say we are not doing this and we are not doing that. During their time, they were in full control of the government (but) they did not do anything that is good for the country.

“For example, we say we want to accept the rule of law. Now, for us, we abide by it. But for them before, they never even bothered about the rule of law. They want to arrest somebody, they arrest,” he said.

Under the PH administration, the Langkawi MP said one of its success as the new government is to see growth in the economy, which is said to be better than the previous ruling party.

“We have dealt with the finance problem without too much affecting the people and the growth is still there at 4 per cent, which is not too low compared to the previous growths. To achieve all that is, to me, a great success,” he said.


Category: Malaysia

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