Changing ministers will not help the government fulfil its reform agenda, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in an interview published in the New Straits Times today.
While admitting that his ministers are inexperienced, he said there were other reasons for the slow pace of reforms.
The Pakatan Harapan chairman said some of the reforms, such as repealing some draconian laws, required amendments to the federal constitution.
“To amend the constitution, we need a two-thirds majority. We don’t have a two-thirds majority,” he was quoted as saying.
“There are so many things, like the voting age, removal or modification of the death penalty, all these require amendments to the constitution. That is holding us up because we don’t have a two-thirds majority.”
He said there was no guarantee the opposition would back the constitutional amendments.
“(The slow pace of reforms) is not due to inexperience (of ministers). The ministers are new. You don’t expect a new person to know everything.
“If I change to another new minister, it’s not going to help at all,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said that he was in “close contact” with his ministers so that he can guide them make decisions.
“Every minister comes to see me if they have a problem, but sometimes they need to know what their functions are and all that. I will advise them.
“Of course, it takes a lot of time but in some cases, I will help them to make decisions,” he said.
PH ministers have come under fire for their “foolish” remarks and frequent open tiffs.
Earlier this month, former minister Rafidah Aziz lashed out at ministers who often announce policies on social media.
The former international trade and industry minister said there are some who have put their foot in their mouth by making “half-baked announcements” on policies via platforms like Twitter.
While it is alright to give explanations on issues via social media, she said, it is unacceptable to use it to announce policies.
She also said that she was invited to give a talk to cabinet members and other officials last December, due to her experience in the government. – TMI