Dr M concedes some Pakatan ministers are rookies, says need more time

  • Nation
  • Monday, 11 Mar 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have to give more time to the Pakatan Harapan-government to administer the country, as Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad concedes that many of its ministers are still rookies.

“Well, I must admit that many of us here are very new. Sometimes, we say things that may reflect badly on us.

“But, you have to give us time because they (Barisan Nasional) had more than 60 years against us,” he said.

“I don’t think everyone in Barisan is an expert. Some of them make some silly mistakes, including the prime minister,” Dr Mahathir added.

Dr Mahathir was speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby after the opening of the first meeting of the second session of the 14th Parliament on Monday (March 11).

The Pakatan chairman was responding to his Special Advisor on Media and Communications Datuk A. Kadir Jasin, who said that it’s time for Pakatan to weed out “clowns and comic characters” as its first year in governance approaches.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir does not blame ministers for press blunders, as he said that the media tends to heckle an answer from the ministers.

“Sometimes, they are provoked by the press, and they answer. Of course, the press provoked them because the press thinks they are new and they make mistakes,” he added.

At the same time, the 93-year-old leader said the recently-established Economic Action Council will hold its first meeting, after it manages to get new members onboard the council, which is chaired by Dr Mahathir himself.

The 16-men council consists of current and former Cabinet ministers, economists, businessmen, experts and representatives from non-governmental organisations.

They include Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, economist Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Public Bank managing director Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek and former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

Dr Mahathir also said that China is a global super power and whether Malaysians like it or not, the government has to take into consideration China's foreign policies.

“Not all (China) policies are bad for us. Some can be very good and it’s up to us to find out what’s good for us and make use of it,” he added.

Commenting on claims made by Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim that the government failed to consult the conference of rulers when it decides to accede to the Rome Statute, Dr Mahathir merely said, "He is not an elected representative. So he is only speaking for himself.”

Wisma Putra, in a statement on Monday (March 11), said the government’s decision to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was made with confidence that such action would not affect the position and immunity of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

As of March 4, a total of 124 countries have become signatories to the Rome Statute.   

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