‘Govt rapped over unkept promises’


KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says unfulfilled election promises was one of the reasons why people have begun “running down” the Pakatan Harapan government.

He reiterated that it was due to the promises made by the then Pakatan opposition pact in its bid to wrest power from Barisan Nasional.

“Now, the nation is watching to see if this new government implements those promises.

“But, unfortunately, we (Pakatan) find ourselves unable to implement many of the promises.

“And so begins another round of running down the government,” he said when delivering a keynote address at the Democracy Fest 2019 yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said the people wanted to see immediate changes after Pakatan took over.

However, he said Pakatan faced difficulty in implementing quick reforms owing to the legacy left by the previous administration.

“The people, of course, are impatient and want to see changes now.

“But like it or not, they have to bear with us and bear with the present government as it takes time to correct all the wrongs done by the previous government,” he added.

He said the Pakatan government would also end up behaving like the previous government if it stayed in power too long and did not take the peoples’ criticism seriously.

Dr Mahathir, who is the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman, said it was right for members of a political party to leave their party if it deviated from its original struggle.

He cited the example of a party being formed to fight for the nation’s independence but ended up abusing the power entrusted to it over the years.

“All parties are created to carry out reforms and once they deviate from those reforms, it is time to leave the party,” he said, adding that he had himself left Umno to work with Pakatan to carry out reforms for the good of the country.

The Democracy Fest 2019, which was held from Feb 13 and ends today, was organised by Forces of Renewal Southeast Asia (Forsea), a London registered non-profit organisation promoting peaceful social change in the region.

The event, to celebrate Pakatan’s win the polls, included an art exhibition and performances by local and foreign artists.

Also present were Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari and Forsea’s directors Clare Rewcastle Brown and Hishamuddin Rais.