KUALA LUMPUR: The government is committed to reducing disparities between the rich and poor through Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said the government was concerned with the disparities between different races, those living in the urban and rural areas, as well as the rich and poor.
"This government is willing and bent in trying to enrich the rural areas, so that rural people are not so far behind compared with urban people.
"That is the objective of this government," he said during a special dialogue session at Bank Rakyat's Inaugural Integrity Forum 2020.
He said, over time, the disparity between the rich and poor, as well as those living in the urban and rural areas, have become more extreme.
"And we know that when there is disparity between rich and poor, it will lead to confrontation," said Dr Mahathir.
He also noted that the government remains committed to eradicating corruption at all levels.
"Eradication of corruption has been given priority by this government. No one is above the law.
Even if there is evidence that the Prime Minister is corrupt, action must be taken," he said.
"And when a country becomes corrupt, nothing can be done correctly. Everything will cost more and everything will not be done the way it should be done, because you are influenced by money," he said.
Dr Mahathir also noted that he was often accused of being corrupt when he was holding the position of Prime Minister for the first time.
"Well, that is the accusation levelled at me. But where is the proof?
"Do I buy diamonds at RM27mil to give to my wife? I didn't. In fact, we live a very ordinary life.
"Even my house is not grand, but still you are accused of corruption.
"What is important is that you don't get corrupted by the power that you wield," he said.
Asked what would he rather be doing if he can choose, other than to be a medical doctor as his original career, Dr Mahathir replied,"I did not choose to be a doctor. I had no choice. In those days if they give you a scholarship to study anything, you just say yes, you don't say no or I prefer to choose this or that.
"I wanted to be a lawyer. But I did not get a scholarship to study law. So, now I am a doctor.
"I find that being a doctor provides many solutions to the problems of administration.
"Because a doctor must always solve problems in order to give the correct treatment. That kind of habit is still with me whenever I meet with any problem.
"I regard it as a sickness; I have to understand why and how it happens, what caused it and what is the probable solution," he said.
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