Malaysian PM Mahathir admits Pakatan Harapan made promises without expecting to win election

Supporters of Pakatan Harapan (PH) celebrating outside Majlis Bandaraya Iskandar Puteri, Johor Baru in the early morning of May 10, 2018, after PH defeated the Umno-led Barisan Nasional in Malaysia's 14th General Election. PHOTO: ST FILE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said Pakatan Harapan (PH) made too many election promises because it didn't expect to win the 14th general election in May.

The coalition chairman told PH and Parti Warisan Sabah MPs at a closed-door meeting in Petaling Jaya on Monday night (Aug 13) that this was why the new administration was facing a tough time meeting its manifesto pledges.

Tun Dr Mahathir also warned about the possibility of a backlash against the new government, according to "several sources" present at the dinner function.

"Actually, we did not expect to win, we made a thick manifesto with all kinds of promises... We need to make sacrifices to fulfil our promises. If we can't fulfil them, we will need a good reason that is acceptable to the people," he said.

"If we fail to deliver on our promises, the opposition will use it against us and we may be defeated" in the next general election, he said.

One example he gave was PH's promise to make the position of opposition leader equal to that of a minister.

He said the promise was made in expectation of PH being in the opposition.

"But we won and now it feels uncomfortable to give the opposition leader an equal rank to a minister," he said.

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