PERMATANG PAUH, Penang: It is not easy to repair a 60-year-old system left behind by Malaysia's previous government, said Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah on Sunday (Mar 3).
The new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government also needs time to fix it, said the minister.
"For 60 years, there was no change in the government," said Dr Wan Azizah.
"When we took over, we did not have enough funds. These are the facts ... the debts, if we don’t pay, we will be a country that is bankrupt."
Last May, the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which had been in power since 1957, was ousted by the PH coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad - a now second-time prime minister.
Malaysia is currently saddled with a debt of more than RM1 trillion (US$251.70 billion), which has triggered the new government to take a second look at costly projects.
"We (PH government) are only eight months old, it is not easy to repair an old system," said Dr Wan Azizah.
"This is not an excuse. We make efforts by holding meetings, setting up committees, on how we can reduce the living cost that we feel is burdening the people,” she said.
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Dr Wan Azizah, who is also PH's president, admitted to weaknesses in the new government as most of its cabinet members were new with no experience in the country’s administration.
"The government has its weaknesses. I admit, we are not perfect ... our cabinet members are new, except for (Prime Minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad and (Home Minister) Muhyiddin Yassin. (Finance Minister) Lim Guan Eng and (Economic Affairs Minister) Mohamed Azmin Ali have experience administering a state," she said.
“Other than them, they are all new faces. We have to be realistic. However, we will try to rectify the situation."