Mahathir’s helming of education ministry does not violate the letter and spirit of Pakatan Harapan manifesto
I was stumped when the press phoned yesterday for comment on MCA/Gerakan criticism that Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s helming of Education Ministry was a breach of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto.
This was news to me and I can understand why at the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting yesterday nobody objected when Mahathir revealed that he would also be the Education Minister as everybody felt it was ok.
How could there be such an election promise when none of the Pakatan Harapan leaders from the four component parties of DAP, PRK, AMANAH and Bersatu had known about it or had made such a public commitment?
What was made very clear at the various Pakatan Harapan ceramahs throughout the country was the institutional reforms on term limit for the Prime Minister and to ensure that the Prime Minister cannot hold the Finance Minister portfolio.
The Pakatan Harapan Manifesto’s “Promise 12: Limit the Prime Minister's term of office and restructure the Prime Minister's Department” states: “The prime minister will not simultaneously hold other ministerial posts, especially the post of minister of finance.”
This is not very happily worded, open to different construction. There is an absolute prohibition on the Prime Minister holding the post of Ministry of Finance, which is not applicable to other Ministries.
For this reason, Mahathir’s helming of education ministry does not violate the letter and spirit of Pakatan Harapan manifesto.
We must thank MCA and Gerakan for their criticism which shows that they are capable of performing their Opposition role. But their fatal weakness is their lack of credibililty, stemming from their recent role to aid and abet in the treasonous crimes resulting in Malaysia becoming a “global kleptocracy” and their total silence on the 1MDB scandal.