Pakatan Harapan is getting a taste of the criticism it used to dish out when it was the opposition, now that it is in federal power, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir took a jab at Pakatan Harapan (PH) itself, saying the ruling coalition was now getting a taste of its own medicine, after 60 years of criticising the previous government as the opposition.
“Any government will be criticised. The best thing is to be in the opposition.
“The (former) opposition enjoyed 60 years of criticising the government.
“Now that opposition is the government, it has received a little bit of its own medicine,” Mahathir said at a press conference in the Prime Minister’s Office today.
Dr Mahathir was responding to criticism on a proposal to purchase new official vehicles for ministers and senior government officers.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail recently said the government is in the midst of appointing a company to supply 32 units of Toyota Vellfire for ministers and 3,000 Honda Accords for the use of senior government officials.
The new fleet management contract will cost RM300 million annually, involving 12,500 vehicles for 15 years.
The new contract will replace the government’s 25-year concession with Spanco Sdn Bhd that ended last year.
Saifuddin had said based on the previous government’s policy, senior government officials were given either a vehicle allowance or an official vehicle.
Currently, ministers and senior government officials are using the Proton Perdana and the Toyota Camry.
In addition to the Toyota Vellfire and Honda Accord, the government is reportedly planning to utilise 8,000 units of Proton Persona and Proton Saga.
Dr Mahathir also said the PH federal government is stable, even if Malaysians in polls feel Putrajaya is not taking the country in the right direction
He played down a November survey conducted by pollster Merdeka Centre, which found that 61% of respondents felt the country was going the wrong way economically.
Dr Mahathir said the results could be because PH “is not very good at telling stories of what it has done”.
“Please remember that this country was very lucky that when there was a change of government, nothing happened, everything went smoothly.
“We are quite stable, I think. We are not fighting one another, or having demonstrations in the streets,” he said.
In the same survey, economic concerns topped the list at 61.5%, when respondents were asked what were the biggest problems facing the country.
This was followed by racial issues (7.5%), leadership (4.2%), social and public safety (3.1%) and politics (1.5%).
Dr Mahathir said the government had a functioning cabinet that could make decisions and many people were investing in the country.
“But (it’s just that) we are not announcing the investments as they come.
“Yet people say we are not doing well. I don’t know what they mean by not doing well.”
He added that Malaysians had a country that was stable, peaceful and law abiding.
“That is a great achievement, besides our progress in the economic, social fields and attempts to address disparity.”