KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s move to convene a new Economic Action Council shows he considers his administration’s machinery ineffectual in handling key issues, said Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
The former chief editor of the New Straits Times group gave the damning appraisal in a blog post published this morning.
“We don’t need to pretend simply to protect anybody or any parties’ feelings.
“The reality is that after eight months governing the country, the Pakatan Harapan administration has not produced any tangible results for the public to see,” he wrote on his personal blog today.
The prime minister’s confidante also said the government was already facing economic and financial challenges left by the defeated Barisan Nasional (BN) and must prepare for a global slowdown stemming from the US-China trade war.
Malaysians were also growing disappointed with the performance of the PH administration, Kadir said when singling out Cabinet members and civil servants.
“I believe many know the prime minister is personally dissatisfied with the performance of his Cabinet members.
“This is palpable every time he is asked about ministers’ incompetence when he meets the public and the press,” Kadir said, adding that ministers’ preoccupation with taking selfies and their growing inaccessibility were concerns among the public.
Kadir added that he personally witnessed how ministers were now being treated like kings by their aides and segregated from the public during events where they are meant to mingle with ordinary Malaysians.
“If you only want to be feted and to eat with your own officials from your own headquarters, don’t bother coming to rural areas or Felda schemes.”
Ministers should stop or at least reduce their fixation with posting selfies on social media, he said.
Yesterday, the PMO announced the formation of the council comprising ministers and business leaders to tackle the economy and arrest the rising cost of living.
The Economic Action Council’s main objective is to stimulate economic growth and to improve equal distribution of wealth, as well as to look at issues related to the cost of living, human resource, poverty, and home ownership.
After registering an upset victory in the 14th general election, the PH government has been bleeding popularity due to ministers’ erratic policy announcements and a slew of broken election pledges.
This has allowed BN, particularly vilified former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to chart an unlikely resurgence in popularity even with numerous criminal charges still hanging over the coalition leaders.
Dr Mahathir has also had to fend off repeated rumours of a Cabinet reshuffle.