Mahathir as Education Minister Breaks Pakatan Harapan’s Election Promise

PRESS RELEASE

MAY 18, 2018

MAHATHIR AS EDUCATION MINISTER BREAKS PAKATAN HARAPAN’S ELECTION PROMISE

The announcement yesterday by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad that he’s the next education minister, does break a key Pakatan Harapan election promise, as outlined in its manifesto.

“The Prime Minister will not simultaneously hold other ministerial posts, especially the post of Minister of Finance.”

(Promise 12, Pakatan Harapan manifesto. Page 38 http://kempen.s3.amazonaws.com/manifesto/Manifesto_text/Manifesto_PH_EN.pdf)

KUASA is worried about this development. The promise is made to the Malaysian public, and as much as Pakatan Harapan leaders rationalise the decision, with justifications it does not change the fact, it breaks a key promise.

A plain read of their document shows it.

Further, the same document states:

“The number of Minister and Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department now is too large. There are 10 Ministers and 3 Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department. This raises the question of what role they actually play.

“The Pakatan Harapan Government will lower the number of Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department to a maximum of 3 only.”

Pakatan Harapan warned voters pre-election that too much is vested in the prime minister and his department, and therefore they would clip his authority.

Now, the returning PM can have up to three ministers under him, plus the education ministry.

KUASA finally reminds the new government, this fear of over-concentration of power has its roots from the previous Mahathir administration (1981-2003) when his department grew in size, and in 1998 following the sacking of his deputy Anwar Ibrahim, the then-prime minister assumed the finance ministry portfolio.

Every prime minister since then kept the finance minister under himself.

Bad habits are hard to break, so while there will be a separate minister for finance in this administration, it still remains a concern the prime minister cannot find a capable education minister from the hundred plus Pakatan Harapan MPs.

KUASA beseeches the new government to reconsider this ill-advised course of action.

Praba Ganesan

Chief Executive

KUASA is a NGO centred on democracy outreach and engagement in order to involve more Malaysians in their process of government and power. Check out for info on KUASA at mykuasa.org or fb.com/mykuasa or our tweet handle @mykuasa.

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