Lack of will by Dr M stymied reforms, says PKR man

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PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan had sufficient time to carry out reforms during its 22 months in power but coalition chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad just did not get the job done, says a PKR MP.

Wong Chen, MP for Subang, said Mahathir, who was then prime minister, “should have carried out the reforms”.

He told FMT in an interview that in Malaysia, the government was led by a “strongman” as the prime minister under existing laws had “supreme” powers.

“The ministers are there as sideshows or secondary to him. That shouldn’t be the case, but that’s the system that we have. So, you really have to ask Dr Mahathir why he did not (carry out) reforms in the 22 months that we had,” he said.

A lot of expectations were placed on PH when it swept to power on a platform of reforms but the coalition’s critics have said it had little to show for its stint in Putrajaya.

Some PH leaders have said that they did not have the time to carry out reforms, citing the fact that they did not have the benefit of a full term.

However, Wong Chen said that in countries like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, a new government would spend the first six months of its term earnestly reforming the system.

“That didn’t happen (here), maybe in Malaysia, we were a bit slower. The excuse is that we wanted to do things but we had no time,” he said, adding that the reality was that the prime minister just did not seem to have the will to push for reforms.

Wong Chen said PH has to be accountable for its 22 months. He said the coalition will have to explain what went wrong, swallow its pride, apologise and work towards regaining the trust of its supporters.

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