KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied that he has plans to carry out a Cabinet reshuffle soon although he admitted that it is a huge challenge working with inexperienced Cabinet members.
The Langkawi MP said he must continue to strive and work together with his handpicked ministers, adding that some of them are promising despite being new.
“That is a major problem also. We have inexperienced people in the government now. I think anyone who is inexperienced will have experienced the same problems that they (new ministers) have,” he told the business weekly, Focus Malaysia, in an interview in Langkawi.
“If I go around discharging and replacing them, it is not going to help.
“I have to try and, well, work with them so that they acquire experience, and believe me, some of them have done quite well,” he said.
Dr Mahathir admitted that as with the impression on any newbie, general impressions and doubts about the ministers’ ability to work were bound to form in the minds of the public.
He added that it was also difficult to change the Opposition attitude of the current Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition members.
“But now they find they are being criticised and they have to take it. They have to accept it,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also told Focus Malaysia that he is also racing against time to right the wrongs of the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government and to institute key reform agendas promised by PH.
He said that many things need to be hastened as time for him was not a luxury given his age.
“Other people seem to take things easy, but I am in a hurry because I realise I don’t have much time to do the things that I feel need to be done in this country.
“So I will try to do my best as long as I am still the Prime Minister. If I am asked to leave, I’ll leave because no specific date was given,” he added.
The 10-month old PH government is often slammed for missing its election manifesto pledges and for making U-turns, while some in the largely inexperienced Cabinet have either underperformed or at times made the most baffling choices.
However, since taking over Putrajaya, the coalition has set out to fulfill some of its promises, such as abolishing the Goods and Services Tax, declaring war on corruption at all levels of governance, appointing non-political and formidable legal figures to head the Election Commission (EC) and initiating lawsuits on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad(1MDB) saga, among few others.