KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government was not performing its functions as ministers were either complacent or out of touch.
He claimed in an interview with Free Malaysia Today that the Cabinet did not have its finger on the nation’s pulse and were consequently not developing policies in line with Malaysians’ aspirations.
“(The current leaders) are not very impressive, I must say. The ministers seem to be doing no work at all. We don’t see them doing anything, and we know that ministers are refusing to see people.”
“Even the prime minister is a difficult man to see. When I was prime minister, I saw at least three to four delegations a day. I talked to them, I knew what they were thinking about, and I listened to what was being discussed in public so I could make adjustments.”
“But here, they may have some advisors but apparently they are not giving the right advice,” he was quoted as saying.
Dr Mahathir added that while the movement restrictions under the Covid-19 pandemic could excuse some inactivity, the government’s productivity was still subpar.
He also said the alleged indolence would undermine the government’s efforts to revive the economy.
“For example, ministers refuse to see investors, refuse to see anybody and when you refuse to see them, people will consider you as unfriendly.
“During my time, I introduced a business friendly government, that was why despite the racial economic divide, we were growing at seven per cent (a year),” Dr Mahathir said.
He said the allegedly dysfunctional government along with poor governance and corruption was why Malaysia was losing investors at a faster rate than its regional competitors.
Last month, the United Nations trade agency UNCTAD said foreign investment in Malaysia fell by 68 per cent to US$2.5 billion (RM10.2 billion) in 2020, a far greater drop than the 31 per cent decline that South-east Asia experienced as a whole.