KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave the assurance yesterday that the government would adhere to the promises in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto for the 14th General Election and was committed to fulfilling them.
He also said that the focus of the government was not just on implementing the promises but also improving the government administration.
“Much work has to be done by the government in the first 100 days (of its administration). The priority is to clean the government of the damage brought on by corruption and abuse of power in the previous government machinery,” he said during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat.
This was being done, among others, through legal action against the crimes detected in the government, through attempts to trace and recover lost government funds, restructuring departments, and so on, he said.
He also said that the government departments and agencies were studying the mechanisms for implementing the promises so that they could be implemented in an organised manner and according to the law.
Referring to the 10 PH election promises that would have to be implemented within the first 100 days of the new administration, Dr Mahathir said efforts had been taken for their implementation but the outcome of all could not be achieved within the 100 days as they had to be implemented in an organised manner and according to the law.
He said that 70 days since May after PH had formed the new government, two of the 10 promises had been fulfilled, six were in the process of implementation and two had yet to be implemented.
“The government is committed to realising all the promises on the basis of our accountability to the people,” he said.
Citing an example, Dr Mahathir said the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry was looking into the implementation of contribution by housewives to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
Promises that did not involve costs had been implemented, such as the elimination of the blacklist of borrowers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), he said.
Replying to a question from Fong Kui Lun (PH-Bukit Bintang) on the monitoring of the measures for the implementation of the promises, the Prime Minister gave the assurance that the government would do that.
“We will never allow something to be done without monitoring due to other tasks because we hold to our promises in the manifesto,” he said.
He said this included fulfilling the promise of providing 20 per cent royalty to the petroleum-producing states of the country.
“We promise to give the royalty as promised; there will be no deviation in this.
“But we hope that the royalty will be used for the good of these states and not misused to strengthen (political) parties and for other purposes,” he said when replying to a supplementary question, from Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang).
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir reiterated that the PH election manifesto was neither a sacred book nor a document that was too binding on the government in the execution of the promises.
“I did not realise that the Honourable Member for Rembau (Khairy Jamaluddin of BN) regarded the manfesto as a sacred book. However, even if it was assumed as such, we here consider it a manifesto, not so binding that we cannot move.
“We do not regard the manifesto as the Quran or Bible. So, when we reach a hurdle, we have to find a way to overcome it,” he said in response to a remark by Khairy in the House.
Dr Mahathir also said that the government, in its attempt to implement the promises in the manifesto, was bound by restrictions including archaic laws. — Bernama