PUTRAJAYA: In a stern warning to his colleagues, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said political power is given to the government – not for their self-interests but to serve the rakyat.
The Prime Minister said a country and its society would not be able to progress if power was abused.
“We have to be careful when we use the power that is bestowed upon us. If we feel that the power may cause something bad to happen to our country, it is better that we do not exercise it.
“Instead, get advice on how power should be exercised,” said Dr Mahathir in his monthly address to staff of the Prime Minister’s Department here yesterday.
Members of his administration, he added, must understand that the role of the government is to ensure Malaysia’s progress.
“Although it will not be immediately seen, the effects of good governance will eventually be seen in the long run and enjoyed by the rakyat,” he said.
The government, said Dr Mahathir, was duty-bound to ensure that the wealth gap between urban and rural areas was reduced through equal distribution of wealth.
This, he added, would also ensure that there was peace and harmony in Malaysia.
“The government does not want to hamper urban growth and wealth. However, if the gap between the rich and the poor is too wide, it will give rise to feelings of envy and hate.
“As a result, there will be some hostility between urban and rural areas, between the poor and the rich, and even between one race and another.
“I am confident that the staff of the Prime Minister’s Department know how to carry out their duties and fulfil the needs of the country,” said Dr Mahathir.
Explaining the need to have more elected representatives in rural areas compared to urban areas, he said people in urban areas were more capable of improving themselves.
“However, those in rural areas consist of people who may not be educated and need more help.
“This is why rural areas need more elected representatives in Parliament, so that they have a stronger voice. As you know, the voice of the majority is important in Parliament.
“When there are more MPs from rural areas, then there will be more policies made for the benefit of the rural folk,” said Dr Mahathir.
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