KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has rated his Cabinet "five out of 10", almost a year after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition came to power, while reiterating that there will be no reshuffle.
In a group interview on Monday (May 6), he said: "They (the ministers) are performing. I don't see any reason to reshuffle the Cabinet". The prime minister was responding to a question on whether he intends to refresh the line-up.
When asked to evaluate the Cabinet, he said he would rather take a conservative approach.
“I have been in the government for 22 years and I know how government functions, but these people (ministers) are new, they do not know how a government functions,” he was quoted as saying by the Star.
Some of the ministers are also afraid of being accused of doing the wrong things, he said.
"This makes decision-making by them difficult, but they are learning very fast," said Dr Mahathir.
"Sometimes they do something without consulting me that should not be done, creating some minor problems. But they learn,” he added.
"Sometimes they get bad publicity because of what they do. Then, they come to me to ask what should be done. I listen to them and give my views."
Among ongoing criticisms of the PH government are its failure to deliver on promised reforms and protecting the rights of majority ethnic Malay Muslims.
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There has also been ongoing speculation over a potential Cabinet reshuffle, with criticism levelled against several ministers seen to be underperforming.
A recent poll by Merdeka Centre showed that Dr Mahathir’s performance rating among the public plunged to 46 per cent from 71 per cent last August.
The government’s approval rating also fell from 79 per cent last May to 39 per cent in March this year.