Pakatan made pledges without expecting to win polls: Mahathir

PETALING JAYA • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said that Pakatan Harapan (PH) made too many election promises because it did not 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 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, and 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," said Dr Mahathir.

"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 added.

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

PRESSURE TO FULFIL PROMISES

Actually, we did not expect to win, and 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.

MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, speaking to Pakatan Harapan and Parti Warisan Sabah MPs at a closed-door meeting on Monday.

The Prime Minister said that the promise was made with the expectation that PH would be in the opposition.

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

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SEE WORLD


In The Straits Times tomorrow

Pakatan Harapan stormed to power promising to undo a raft of oppressive laws. But with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister, there is doubt over whether he will undo some policies that he once defended. ST also takes a look at Dr Mahathir's revisiting of past issues, such as a national car project and the water deal with Singapore, and how opposition party Umno is faring.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2018, with the headline 'Pakatan made pledges without expecting to win polls: Mahathir'. Print Edition | Subscribe