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KUALA LUMPUR, MAY 29 — Federal ministers should discuss in detail matters between each other and with their respective press secretaries before issuing any statements which can affect the government and its credibility, Tun Daim Zainuddin has said.
In an exclusive interview with Astro Awani, the former chair of the Council of Eminent Persons said that ministers should avoid making knee-jerk statements as well as any “negative” ones that can affect public confidence towards the ruling government.
“If you want to make a statement, discuss first what is the effect, discuss with your officers and then discuss between ministers. Not make statements for fun,” he was quoted saying in a short excerpt of the video interview.
The full interview will be aired tonight at 9pm.
“If it is positive you come out with a statement, if it is negative do not come up with a statement, if you want to announce it even if its negative, then that is stupid,” he added.
Daim gave an example of the income tax notices which were sent to people, which he claimed resulted in people panicking and being afraid to spend.
This in turn caused the ringgit’s value to drop, he said.
“When it comes to income tax, no need to disturb the people. if you send notices they will be afraid to spend, you should not disturb people.
“Eight million notice for one wife, and if you count a husband then there are 16 million notices, this is disruptive. You are killing confidence. Last time they (Malaysians) went out to eat, now they are afraid to go out,” Daim said.
This is not the first time Daim has publicly commented on the communication challenges faced by Pakatan Harapan ministers.
Back in March, he alleged that PH ministers did not do enough to explain the new government’s policies and delays in their election promises, leaving it to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Public frustration towards the PH administration is increasing after the coalition backtracked on several key election pledges.