PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan leaders must work out ways to fulfill promises made by the ruling coalition before it won the 14th general election (GE14).
Prime-minister-in waiting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said this was important for the country, moving forward, as the people who had voted PH into power had high expectations of the government they had chosen over Barisan Nasional.
“The people want to know what is your (the administration’s) plan? What do you intend to do?” Anwar said, adding that this was for the government to answer.
“We need to make an effort to fulfil what we promised. That is a promise. But even after all that hard work, there were problems.
“We apologise and ask for a postponement (on fulfilling some of the promises). We do not go against our own promises,” he said in an interview with newspapers under the New Straits Times Press stable.
Asked if PH had studied the situation and the country’s finances thoroughly before drawing up the manifesto, Anwar conceded that the coalition didn’t realise that things were “really that bad”.
“I was not privy because I was in prison, but I was informed, from time to time.
“(For example) I have been very critical of the government since 2008, to expose the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) scandal. We relied on what was published.
“So, it is quite true that when we were crafting the manifesto, we were not privy to the real problems,” he said.
Anwar also shared his experience in going through contracts that were inked by the previous government, after PH took over Putrajaya and how many of them turned out to be shockers.
“For example, we talk about waste in (government) contracts. We went through every single document, and in most of the contracts, there were serious flaws.
“I was finance minister before and I was shocked by the extent of the excesses in procurement, which involved ministers on down… billions were drained,” he said, adding that this was not an exaggeration on his part, but a fact.
Anwar said he recognised that despite having explained why PH couldn’t meet all its promises, it was determined to fulfill them.
“... But other than exposing the excesses of the past, people also want to know (about the promises).
“My take is that not all of our promises can be fulfilled now because of the economic problems and high debt.
“In terms of being ethical and humble, noble values need to be upheld by the leaders. If you cannot do it, inform the people.
“We need not be too concerned with criticism. We promise, they believed us but we could not fulfil ... then we apologise and ask for more time. I do not think the people expect it all to happen in a day,” Anwar said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd