Dr M says Malaysia can recover in 3 years


Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday the country will recover in three years from the administrative and financial problems left behind by the previous government.

The prime minister (PM) said the present government has many plans that he believes can overcome the administrative and financial problems left behind, and called on civil servants to be patient and work with the government to recover its position.

“Insha Allah (God willing), if the situation in the country remains peaceful without any unlawful incidents in the next three years, we can bring about the recovery,” he said at the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia’s (Cuepacs) premier assembly with the PM in Serdang yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said it is not enough to revive the country only through political power in the wake of the victory of the Pakatan Harapan coalition in the 14th General Election.

“It is of utmost importance for all of you to understand our history and know what is being done by this new government, so that you can extend close cooperation to the government in the interests of the country and we can once again be on the road to becoming a developed nation in 2025,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said the cooperation among civil servants is necessary to understand the problems the country is facing, including the over RM1 trillion debt that has made the country’s financial situation most difficult.

“That’s why we were forced to cancel mega programmes that the previous government initiated, scheduled or implemented. We have had to reduce the expenditure on these huge projects. If we were to terminate the old contracts, we will have to pay compensation,” he said.

He said a portion of the country’s income had to be used to pay the country’s debt, which caused the government to pay lesser attention to national development.

“I hope we can be patient. If we cooperate in an atmosphere of peace and calm, then we can restore the financial position and develop our country.

“It is not easy to pay off a RM1 trillion debt. All the people, including government servants, have to tighten our belts a little, so that we can reduce the normal expenses and pay the debt,” he said.

“Insha Allah (God willing), we will be able to settle out debts and, after that, the government’s income will rise and can be used to help with the cost of living of the people, especially those working with the government,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said high incomes will mean nothing if the prices of goods rise more than the salary increment.

“For us, what is more important is to provide a salary that can buy more than before…it is for this reason that the present government is reviewing the country’s financial procedures,” he said.

The PM said he is confident the civil servants will be with the government in helping to restore the country’s financial position, so that the ringgit will be stronger and we can buy more goods than before.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the government has no plans to buy aircraft from China as of now.

Responding to a question on his statement yesterday that Malaysia could retaliate by looking at buying fighter jets from China if the European Union continues its discriminatory stance against Malaysian palm oil, Dr Mahathir explained that the statement is still at the suggestion level.

“It was only a suggestion; we have not made any decision yet. Also, we may not buy any jets at all,” he told reporters yesterday.

Asked if there are specific products from China that he is looking at, Dr Mahathir said: “There are a lot of products we can buy.”

Earlier, Dr Mahathir witnessed the signing of a strategic partnership agreement between Medicare Assistance Sdn Bhd and Pos Malaysia Bhd to promote the CuepacsCare and CuepacsPA takaful programmes for civil servants.

A statement on the partnership stated that the cooperation is a commitment by both sides to insure civil servants, in line with the desire of Cuepacs to ensure that civil servants have at least one takaful insurance coverage.

Under the cooperation, MyCuepacsCare — which operates the CuepacsCare and CuepacsPA takaful programmes — appointed Pos Malaysia as its marketing representative to distribute the application forms at its 681 Pos Malaysia offices across the country.

The agreement was signed by MyCuepacsCare MD K Palanisamy and Pos Malaysia’s Pos Niaga COO Abdul Razak Mohd A Kadir. — Bernama