Mortality on the Mind of PM in a Hurry

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Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied that he has plans to carry out a Cabinet reshuffle soon although he admitted that it is a huge challenge working with inexperienced Cabinet members.

He said he must continue to strive and work together with his handpicked ministers, adding that some of them are promising despite being new.

“That is a major problem also. We have inexperienced people in the government now. I think anyone who is inexperienced will have experienced the same problems that they (new ministers) have,” he told Focus Malaysia, in an interview in Langkawi.

“If I go around discharging and replacing them, it is not going to help.

“I have to try and, well, work with them so that they acquire experience, and believe me, some of them have done quite well,” the Langkawi MP said.

Dr Mahathir admitted that as with the impression on any newbie, general impressions and doubts about the ministers’ ability to work were bound to form in the minds of the public.

He added that it was also difficult to change the Opposition attitude of the current Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition members.

“But now they find they are being criticised and they have to take it. They have to accept it,” he said.

The 10-month old PH government is often slammed for missing its election manifesto pledges and for making U-turns, while some in the largely inexperienced Cabinet have either underperformed or at times made the most baffling choices.

Dr Mahathir told the business weekly that he is also racing against time to right the wrongs of the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government and to institute key reform agendas promised by PH.

He said that many things need to be hastened as time for him was not a luxury given his age.

“I am lucky I survived this long. Actually, I should not be around to watch what happened with my predecessors but I am lucky in the sense that I am not only older but still able to function.

“But I realise that I am very old, and very soon I will weaken and I will die.

“So, I am always in a hurry. Other people seem to take things easy, but I am in a hurry because I realise I don’t have much time to do the things that I feel need to be done in this country,” he was quoted as saying.

Dr Mahathir also acknowledged that he was an interim prime minister and affirmed that he was prepared to leave when the time comes.

“I will try to do my best as long as I am still the Prime Minister.

“If I am asked to leave, I’ll leave, because no specific date was given. I was only told that I am the choice for prime ministership from the opposition coalition, but they didn’t specify when.

“They have said that I am the interim and that somebody will take over. I suppose that may be long before the next election,” he was quoted as saying.

Since taking over Putrajaya, the coalition has set out to fulfill some of its promises, such as abolishing the Goods and Services Tax, declaring war on corruption at all levels of governance, appointing non-political and formidable legal figures to head the Election Commission (EC) and initiating lawsuits on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad(1MDB) saga, among few others.