PONTIAN, Nov 13 — One of the priorities of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is to take clear and firm steps to ensure that acts of corruption and power abuse are not committed by the country’s leaders, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The prime minister said with these measures in place, the leaders would not have an opportunity to enrich themselves without the fear of punishments that await them.
“It is true that we cannot always blame the previous government in efforts to develop the country and ensure the well-being of the rakyat.
“(But) at the same time those who have been following the court cases will realise that the damage caused by corrupt practices and abuse of power almost destroyed the country,” he said in an open letter to the voters and residents of the Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency, which was distributed to the media tonight.
The PH chairman said apart from focusing on steps to check corruption and power abuse, the government was also making serious efforts to revive the country’s economy.
“Apart from continuing with the existing Malaysia plans, the government has also introduced short- and long-term strategies, including the Shared Prosperity Vision which we believe can reduce the income gap between races, districts and regions.
“Such plans may take a bit of time but the people will begin to taste the benefits soon. I believe if the people care to evaluate properly, surely they can see and feel the benefits that come their way although gradually,” he said.
He said the people also could see that the leaders of the present government and their wives were not living a life of luxury at the people’s expense.
Dr Mahathir also said certain quarters were trying to pit the people against each other, by telling the Malays that the government although led by Malays was pawning off everything to the non-Malays.
“When they meet non-Malays, they will instigate them that non-Malay leaders in the government have lost their struggle because they want to look after their own positions. As a result, Malays will feel that their future is not secure under this government.
“At the same time, non-Malays will also feel dissatisfied with the non-Malay government members for allegedly failing to look after their interests. These two things cannot happen at the same time with the same government,” he said.
He said the government acted on the basis of consensus in making decisions, which means that every interest of the people was considered before a decision was made.
“When we make decisions this way, every race and group will not feel fully satisfied. To me, this is better than one party feeling very satisfied and the other party feeling so unhappy. Malaya and Malaysia developed since its formation because of the tolerance and spirit of cooperation among leaders who from before have been of various races,” he said.
He said this racial politics was being propagated by those who were desperate because they were facing legal action now for the greed and arrogance they displayed when they were in power.
“They do not care if their actions can spark racial clashes because to them, if trouble breaks out their misdeeds will be overlooked,” he said.
In the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election on Saturday, Dr Mahathir urged voters to choose PH candidate Karmaine Sardini, who he said is the most suitable to continue with the efforts of the former MP Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, who died on Sept 21 of heart complications.
Karmaine is involved in a six-cornered fight with Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng, Gerakan’s Wendy Subramaniam, Berjasa’s Datuk Dr Badrulhisham Abdul Aziz, and two independent candidates, Dr Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar. — Bernama