PM: It’s okay to make u-turns

Some­times peo­ple have to back­track when needed, says Dr M

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By TARRENCE TAN, JO TIMBUONG and YIMIE YONG news­[email protected]­tar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: It is okay for lead­ers to back­track from their ini­tial prom­ises be­cause even an­gels make mis­takes some times, says the Prime Min­is­ter amidst crit­i­cisms over sev­eral “u-turns” in gov­ern­ment poli­cies lately.

Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad said some­times peo­ple made mis­takes and had to back­track when they re­alise it would be wiser to do so.

“Some­times, we go the wrong way, we turn around but only if nec­es­sary. We are not per­fect peo­ple.

“Although most of us are an­gels, an­gels make mis­takes. So, when an­gels make mis­takes, they turn around,” he said af­ter the Pakatan Hara­pan pres­i­den­tial coun­cil meet­ing here yes­ter­day.

Dr Ma­hathir was re­spond­ing to sev­eral re­ports, one of which is the sus­pen­sion of the Na­tional Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Fund Cor­po­ra­tion (PTPTN) loan in­stal­ment scheme that was sup­posed to take ef­fect on Jan 1.

On the sus­pen­sion, Dr Ma­hathir said the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion came about fol­low­ing a pub­lic out­cry.

“There were many opin­ions from many peo­ple. Prior to the an­nounce­ment, they didn’t ex­press it (their opin­ion). So, when we an­nounced it, many peo­ple weren’t happy.

“If we were to ask the opin­ions of the 33 mil­lion Malaysians, it would be quite a chal­lenge. So, if they re­act neg­a­tively, we take that into con­sid­er­a­tion,” he said, adding that a de­ci­sion should be an­nounced soon.

He also dis­missed spec­u­la­tion about a Cab­i­net reshuf­fle.

The gov­ern­ment, he said, could not af­ford to have too many agen­cies, es­pe­cially those whose fund­ings were from un­known sources.

“Although these are gov­ern­ment agen­cies, they were abused and used for the (po­lit­i­cal) party. We have to shut them down.

“When we shut down these agen­cies, many of­fi­cials and staff will be af­fected and could be laid off.”

Dr Ma­hathir said the gov­ern­ment was in the midst of col­lect­ing in­for­ma­tion of the of­fi­cials and staff to find out if they were in­volved in pol­i­tics.

“We can­not con­tinue these agen­cies. We don’t ‘steal’ money as we only de­pend on the gov­ern­ment’s rev­enue. We can’t af­ford to spend so much,” he said.

It was re­ported in July that at least seven agen­cies un­der the Fi­nance Min­istry, in­clud­ing Min­istry of Fi­nance Inc, the East Coast Eco­nomic Re­gion and the Iskan­dar Re­gional Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, might be dis­solved.

On the pos­si­bil­ity of by-elec­tions in Cameron High­lands and Ran­tau, he said Pakatan was ready to field can­di­dates from the same par­ties that had con­tested in these seats at the last gen­eral elec­tion.

“It is up to the par­ties to se­lect their can­di­dates when it is called and they will con­test un­der the Pakatan Hara­pan logo and not PKR’s,” Dr Ma­hathir, also the Pakatan chair­man, said.

In good spir­its : Dr Ma­hathir shar­ing a light mo­ment with the me­dia. With him are Datuk Seri An­war Ibrahim (left) and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Az­izah. Also present were other Pakatan Hara­pan lead­ers.

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