‘U-turns okay when they are warranted’

“IF flip-flopping benefits the people, I will flip-flop.”

That was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s retort to a Perikatan Nasional MP who had accused the government of several U-turns.

Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (PN-Tanjong Karang) had said in a supplementary question at the Dewan Rakyat that the government had gone back on decisions made over the discontinuation of Public Services Department (JPA) scholarships for three healthcare courses and also over subsidies for eggs and chicken.

He also asked if Anwar would retract his statement that the Covid-19 vaccine procurement was done without the Attorney General’s approval, as this had been disproved by the White Paper tabled last week.

Anwar replied that the decision to end JPA scholarships for medicine, dentistry and pharmacy students and the subsidies for chicken and eggs were “old decisions”.

However, he said his government decided to continue the scholarships and subsidies for chicken and eggs.

“The old decision was to stop. Our decision is to continue. Where is the flip-flop?” he asked during Prime Minister’s Question Time.

“If the decision burdens the people, then Tanjong Karang should raise this matter. Who is Tanjong Karang championing if these decisions are actually helping the people?

“When I chaired the JPA meeting, I decided to continue the scholarships. The same goes with chicken and eggs. The old decision was to end it in June. When it was referred to me, I asked for it to be continued.

“It was not a flip-flop,” he said, adding that the decisions were meant to help the people.

“If flip-flopping helps the people, I will flip-flop. What is the point of not flip-flopping if it burdens the people?” he said.

He then pointed out that the former Perikatan government had wanted to increase electricity charges, sparking a commotion with Opposition MPs shouting.

“The decision on electricity tariffs is on record,” Anwar said.

The Prime Minister also stood by his claims on vaccine procurement, saying that there was some truth to his statement and that certain portions were not referred to the Attorney General.

On Sunday, he announced that the scholarships would continue.

Anwar also said on June 9 that the government had decided to maintain the ceiling price of chicken and eggs.

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Anwar Ibrahim , flip-flop , U-turns , Dewan Rakyat


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