PM: It’s okay to make u-turns
Sometimes people have to backtrack when needed, says Dr M
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.