Dr M: Specific panel to be set up


PUTRAJAYA: A specific body, similar to the National Economic Action Committee (MTEN), will be set up to address issues involving the economy, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“The body will determine the problem which will be brought to the council where a decision will be made before action can be taken in a quick manner,” he said at a press conference at the Perdana Leader­ship Foundation here.

He said the government agreed to set up the body to look into the challenges and make decisions on the economy.

“It is similar to the MTEN. But the name will be different,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said some had complained they went to the respective ministries but the actions were not seen by the rakyat.

“Other than the government’s plans, we found that the rakyat do not know what the government has achieved.

“This is because we do not have a clear and coherent explanation.

“That is why we will set up a body to counter allegations, what has been done, currently being implemented and what will be done in the future,” he said.

On the Semenyih by-election, he said Pakatan Harapan was confident of winning unless something “unusual” (luar biasa) was carried out by Umno and PAS.

Driving force: Dr Mahathir at the wheel of a Proton Iriz as he makes his way to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan(TBS) in Kuala Lumpur for a visit ahead of Chinese New Year. — Bernama
Driving force: Dr Mahathir at the wheel of a Proton Iriz as he makes his way to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan(TBS) in Kuala Lumpur for a visit ahead of Chinese New Year. — Bernama

The Pakatan chairman believed that the coalition would be able to garner the majority support of the voters across racial lines including the Malays.

The by-election for the Semenyih state seat in Selangor will be held on March 2 with Feb 16 as nomination day.

The seat fell vacant following the death of assemblyman Bakhtiar Mohd Nor on Jan 11 from a heart attack. He was 57.

Dr Mahathir also announced that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been elected as Pakatan’s election committee chairman.

He said Pakatan was prepared to face any of the opposition’s candidate and coalition members had discussed strategies on how to retain the seat.

“For instance, in the previous Cameron Highland by-election, although we did not win, the support for Pakatan had increased.

“We believe that they (opposition) won due to the cooperation between the Islamist party PAS and the infidel (kafir) party Umno.

“That is what PAS said, not from me.

“So, when the kafir and Islam cooperate, they can score a win for their candidate,” he said.

Asked to comment on the survey conducted nationwide that nearly 60% of the Malays surveyed were not happy with the performance of the Pakatan Harapan government, Dr Mahathir said “they are making use of this fiction that Pakatan is run by DAP and that I am just a puppet”.

“I have never been a puppet yet, lah. I talked to many Malays. It is not 60%, there is a small percentage but not 60%.

“These are assessments made by the opposition as part of their campaign to denigrate us,” he said.

The survey found that 60% of the respondents believed that non-Muslims were now in control of the government and that DAP was calling the shots in Putrajaya.

The survey, conducted jointly by pollster Ilham Centre and think tank Penang Institute, interviewed 2,614 Malay respondents between Oct 24 and Dec 24 last year.

mahathir mohamad