PUTRAJAYA, May 22 ― Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin clocked in at 9am sharp today.
Once he passed the security entrance of the Home Affairs Ministry (KDN) here, he marched straight to the briefing room where he told the staff they have to work differently now, to “think outside the box”.
Muhyiddin marked his first day as home minister under a new ruling coalition today by trotting Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) reform agenda, stressing to hundreds of officials that included the national police chief Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun that the ministry will now function much more differently from that of its predecessor.
“I told them (the staff) we will have to work harder, there is a new benchmark and not of the past...we will have to deliver and they will have to think outside the box in order to deliver,” Muhyiddin, a former deputy prime minister, told the press here.
Muhyiddin was a former leader of the previous administration with several portfolios under his belt, and is no stranger to the complicated bureaucracy and inner workings of the government.
But even with his vast experience, the former Umno minister made clear that seeing through the shift in mindset within the ministry is no easy task.
In his first briefing to the press, Muhyiddin said his ministry will need to undertake serious and tough changes because the weight of public expectation on this administration is far heavier than that of the past.
He listed down some of the pledges PH listed in its election manifesto, and said his duty as the minister was to ensure they are all implemented.
“We know that the expectation of the people on this administration is definitely much bigger than on the previous government,” Muhyiddin said in his usual stern expression.
“We know if we don’t perform we can be kicked out just after a term...so we best make sure we deliver.”
Among the first few policies KDN will address are longstanding problems like statelessness, border security and crime, Muhyiddin revealed.
Statelessness among minority Indians was a widespread problem under the previous administration.
Rights groups said thousands of Indian children remain stateless and denied access to healthcare and education because they have no birth certification, even when most were born in this country.
Muhyiddin said yesterday Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had announced the formation of a task force to that will look into the issue, and is expected to make recommendations for solutions.
Dr Mahathir himself will chair the task force, Muhyiddin said.
The home minister also said his ministry will set out to work on beefing up both border and domestic security through several initiatives.
Safety was also a key issue for voters next to reform, Muhyiddin said.