KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today reassured that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has a clear direction for the country despite being criticised.
The premier reiterated that work had already begun for Malaysia and it could take time.
“Even for me it is frustrating to wait, but wait we must. The machinery of government has been cleansed and is rapidly adapting to the new ways of working, even the ministers are adjusting to being in the government instead of in the opposition.
“We are clear as to what we want to do and how we will do it. Plans may take a week or so to create but implementation will take much longer, at least two years or more,” he said in a posting entitled 'Kerajaan Pakatan Harapan’ on his blog, Chedet, today.
He said the accusation that the government was directionless was made by those who refused to acknowledge reality.
“Are we really the same Malaysia under the previous government? Or are they saying they prefer the kleptocratic government?
“Give the government a little bit of time and participate fully in the Shared Prosperity Vision policies, and in two years you will realise that the direction of the government is right.”
Dr Mahathir said the country also needed time when it was switching from an agro-based economy to an industrial economy.
“(But) most of us cannot remember and the young never saw the transition. The same will happen now and the transition will take time – perhaps two years or more from now."
He said the new direction that the country was heading was already implemented in some sectors.
“We are going paperless and soon there will be cashless. Digitalisation is already happening and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is contributing towards increasing speed of work and transaction.”
Dr Mahathir said since PH took over the government from Barisan Nasional (BN), the administration was able to retain the solvency of the country despite facing a huge debt of over a trillion ringgit.
“The creditors are not suing the government. Indeed, some are even keen to lend more money at low rates.
“The government is clearly creditworthy and debt has been reduced.”
In terms of political stability, Dr Mahathir said no one had tried to overthrow the government by a vote of no-confidence as they know it would not succeed.
The premier, however, acknowledged that there were some disturbances in a member of the ruling coalition which was normal.
“As for the country’s economy, it is still growing at a good rate for a country at this stage of development.
“Yes, there is an outflow of funds and the currency has been devalued. This is a function of the market. Malaysia still has the biggest savings,” he said.
He said Bank Negara reserve was high at more than RM400 billion, while other funds such as Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and some smaller funds added up to over RM1.5 trillion.
“Foreign assets are big. The national oil company Petronas is doing well with more than RM100 billion income. It is 100 per cent government-owned.”
Dr Mahathir said the country’s reserves would have guaranteed the strength of the currency as how it happened in other countries, unfortunately the depreciating ringgit did not reflect this.
“(But) the market apparently cannot believe this strength of the Malaysian finances and its currency."
Dr Mahathir further assured that the Malaysian economy and its currency were strong.
“The market and the detractors may not think so. But the Government has faith in its financial and economic policies. And so do foreign and local investors.”
The premier said the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 showed the government’s clear direction to reinvigorate the country and share its wealth equitably.
“Towards this end, we have initiated a new industrial plan, complemented by a new agricultural plan,” he wrote, adding he would not elaborate.
“(But) we know the direction we are going. Outsiders may not, but we do.”