KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government did not hesitate to fulfil the key promises in its 14th general election manifesto in the first 100 days of its administration despite the restrictions it faced, said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir said PH found that the damage done by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government was far worse than what had been anticipated.
In presenting the developments over the past 100 days in a broadcast to the nation on Friday (Aug 17), Dr Mahathir noted that the PH electoral victory was achieved without bloodshed or clashes between the people and the authorities, as was seen in some other countries.
He said the previous government had intimidated all government departments and used them to conduct its party activities and not to administer the country well.
“The huge burden left behind by the previous government is the trillion ringgit debt. Just repaying the interest can bankrupt us, what more repaying the principal sum.
"Talking about the wrongs of the previous government will take days. Therefore, we will focus on the promises made in our (election) manifesto,” he said.
Dr Mahathir, who at 93 is the oldest prime minister in the world, said the PH government started by abolishing the goods services tax (GST) and moved to restore the sales and service tax (SST) which is awaiting parliamentary approval.
The Prime Minister also said that the government fulfiled the promise to resolve the citizenship problem of members of the Indian community and other communities aged 60 and above.
PH PRACTISES AN "OPEN GOVERNMENT POLICY": MAHATHIR
Besides the manifesto pledges that were met in 100 days, several other matters were achieved which reflected a more comprehensive or holistic approach, he said.
Dr Mahathir said an opposition MP, Dr Ronald Kiandee, was elected as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, which showed the willingness of the ruling party to be scrutinised by opposition MPs.
The Auditor-General’s Report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was no longer classified under the Official Secrets Act, he said, adding that the PH government practised an open government policy and would not conceal any report on crimes committed by anyone, including members of the Cabinet.
In the effort to reform the institutions which made up the pillars of the country, Dr Mahathir said, a committee had been set up and the almost 300 proposals it had put forth had been accepted.
“We also succeeded in securing a pardon for (PKR president-elect) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as we had promised.
“The anti-corruption and integrity institutions have been strengthened, and all members of the government and elected representatives have to declare their assets,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the government commitment was to achieve the principle of wanting Malaysia to be known for integrity and not corruption, and it had implemented various improvements towards this objective.
In conclusion, the Prime Minister said what the government of today held on to was respecting and appreciating the will of the people so that the rule of law, an administration in accordance with the law, was enforced.
“All that I have stated is not in the defence of this new government, but to share with the people what we have been working on since May 9 this year.
“Although many of the government leaders do not have administrative experience, over the past 100 days they have successfully fulfiled promises and demonstrated their administrative abilities.
“As normal human beings, we cannot avoid making mistakes. We are willing to be reprimanded and we will not react aggressively against those who criticise,” he said.