Sunday, March 31, 2019

Mahathir and Institutional Reforms? Chalk & Cheese


Faded hopes

The things Mahathir did in the past few months show that he is still very much embracing his old obsessions, including the national car project 

PM Mahathir is steering a U-turn again. This time, he has reneged on his election pledge of appointing an opposition lawmaker to chair the Public Accounts Committee, allowing instead Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee, who has left Umno for PPBM, to continue chairing the committee.

Tun Mahathir's explanation is hardly convincing, arguing that Kiandee's defection was a personal decision and was totally unrelated to whether PH had reneged on its election pledge.

The thing is: the election manifesto clearly stated in black and white that the position should go to an opposition MP, and now that the chairman is no longer an opposition MP, a new chairman must be appointed.

It looks like the PM is not very much concerned about institutional reforms but the control over PAC's operation. Now that Kiandee has joined PPBM, he will have to take instructions from the party's leadership.

If PH is not as corrupt as the previous BN administration with the notorious 1MDB scandal, why should it worry about an opposition lawmaker as PAC's chairman?

By denying an election pledge, it shows that the new government is still very much run by "rule of man" and not "rule of law".

When he was still new in office last year, Mahathir announced that MACC, EC, Suhakam and the National Audit Department would all function independently. Will he forget this promise and make another U-turn again?

We can see that neither a written nor a verbal promise could offer any assurance. The Constitution, laws and regulations must be amended to specify that the PAC chairman's position will only go to the opposition so that no one can change his mind or try to do something funny.

If the other PH component parties are serious about reform, they should call a presidential council meeting to draft a timetable for the amendment of the Constitution and relevant laws in order to free MACC and other major institutions from the control of the prime minister's office, and give the Parliament more power to effectively check the executive agencies.

The prime minster's recent remarks show that he likes to do things his way and make all the major decisions himself, making it no way for the PH presidential council to intercept, in the end hurting the credibility of the ruling coalition.

Tun Mahathir has promised to hold the office for only two years, leaving the new leadership to fix the mess.

The things he did in the past few months show that he is still very much embracing his old obsessions, such as the national car project, and conflicts with neighboring Singapore.

As a matter of fact, he does not need to worry so much about the next general elections as he will only be PM for two years. He should be bold enough to institute all the reforms. The repeated U-turns he has made shows that reform is not really in his mind, not because he is not capable of delivering it.

The prime minister also lacks the determination to expedite country's economic recovery. Although the PMO announced on February 11 the establishment of the National Economic Action Council, the first meeting was not held until April 4.

It has been reported that local varsity students could only afford one meal a day. It looks like the government really has no time to lose now!


  1. 'The prime minister also lacks the determination to expedite country's economic recovery.'

    SinChew moron!

    How to jive with this:

    Quietly Steadfastly .. Change Is A' Coming

    So easy!

    Just fart away from a personal perspectiv w/o any depth of research!

    Maybe the writer feeds so much on maggie mee that he/she too expect a Maggie mee solution.

  2. must read SinChew with a heavy dose of salt.
    SinChew was and remains a BN/MCA propagandist.

    You don't go to Rupert Murdoch newspapers for an fair coverage of the Labour Party, so similarly you don't expect fair coverage of the Pakatan government from SinChew.

    1. do you only read balls-carrying media? Ate you the Emperor with no clothes?

    2. Knowing that they are propagandists, I read SinChew with a critical mind, and definitely also read alternate views.

      Certainly, uncritical Cut-and-Paste jobs like the post here won't fly.

  3. Why keep posting from a news portal which over the years have proven to be a propaganda machine for interested political parties and groups?

    It's just like Harakah, Utusan, Malay Mail, Straits Times, Star, Guang Ming etc.

    However, Sin Chew does have the extra edge of subtlely putting forth their intended agenda without being blatantly outright in it's opinion pieces and news.

    It just wants to make the readers feel a little intelligent in thoughts but without knowing they are actually being psychologically indoctrinated with sublimal messages of their agenda.

    It's a little like adopting a communist style art of warfare in people's minds.

    1. shall we read only balls-carrying media, and become the Emperor with no clothes?

    2. Then be fair as u wanted to be NOTICED!

      Quote some alternative media news lah. Why, just those criticizing the current govt?

      What about some fair & precise dissection about ahjibgor's blazingly mismanagement of the country's fund?

      For u, that will never see the light of the day lah, RIGHT?

      Innocent before proven guilty mah. So beautifully chanted & yet here u have quoted every Tom Dick & Harry (should be those ignominious rd farts) & ask where's the emperor's cloth!

      Tsk… tsk… maybe u should write like yr sifu - trying out fitnah & get notices via legal! Wakakaka…

    3. najib is out n now almost one year still habuk pun takde from this no idea what he do thomas, what's more u wan to know abt najib then shd ask lks n lge la bodoh.