Awards not merely for those who support leaders in power - Mahathir


LANGKAWI: Awards will only be given to those serve the nation and not for individuals whose only contribution is supporting leaders in power, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said conferring of honours should not be taken lightly as had been done by the previous Barisan Nasional government.

“When (former prime minister Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) was in power, everyone got rewarded for supporting him. We (Pakatan Harapan government) won’t (do this). But we will give to those who deserve,” he told reporters here today.

He said this in commenting on the decision by Istana Negara not to confer any awards in conjunction with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V’s birthday celebration on Sept 9.

“I do not know the reason ( for no conferment of awards by Istana Negara) but I think it is because at this time we do not know who to give,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir slammed UMNO Youth for saying the government made a bad decision in not continuing the East Coast Rail Link project.

He said the decision was taken after considering the country’s current financial situation.

“We do not have the money (to continue with the ECRL project ) because the money was stolen by certain people, that is why we cannot pay for it.

“If UMNO Youth can come up with RM55 billion (cost of the project), we can proceed with this ECRL ,” he said.

Dr Mahathir, who is also the Member of Parliament for Langkawi, arrived here to visit flood victims in Kuala Teriang. - Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd