Financial constraints, inexperienced ministers behind flip-flop on electoral pledges, says Gobind

Communication and Multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo speaks during an interview in Kuala Lumpur April 22, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Communication and Multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo speaks during an interview in Kuala Lumpur April 22, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The lack of experience of ministers unaccustomed to holding power at the federal level along with financial issues are the primary reasons why Pakatan Harapan is perceived as flip-flopping on its electoral promises, said Gobind Singh Deo.

The Communications and Multimedia minister said there have been instances where decisions made were viewed as backfooting on promises or contradicting earlier decisions.

“Quite often those decisions are made when we discover we have issues regarding implementation of policies due to fiscal or legal constraints, or even due to structures already existing and cannot be changed overnight,” Gobind told reporters at Wisma TV RTM in Angkasapuri.

He cited the calls to repeal the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 as an example, which he said cannot be done as it would mean the dissolution of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

“It is a huge entity dealing in many different areas. So ultimately it is not about abolishing the Act but really about how to deal with the commission’s problems, which we have to deal with as we go along,” Gobind said.

He added many of the things PH had hoped to carry out did not come to fruition since they proved to be financially unsustainable.

“Hence, the focus in the first 11 months is to find ways to repair Malaysia’s financial problems, to save on projects, and most importantly improve integrity of certain institutions.

“After 11 months, we can see this appears to be working, so hopefully by next year, we can turn things around and then focus more on what we want to do,” Gobind said.

He said it is crucial for PH to prioritise what needs to be done ahead of others, which he said the Cabinet will have to decide on.

“With other countries as well as Malaysia, a government elected into power is given five years to deliver their promises. As far as we are concerned, it has only been a year.

“So I do not think people should look at us and say we have not delivered, as this is a work in progress. We are finding ways in which we can overcome, as we have to give ourselves time to deliver our promises,” Gobind said.

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