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Never again a kleptocratic regime says Mahathir

19 Mar 2019 / 13:32 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: No nation will survive without strong institutions as the rise and fall of a nation depend on the strengths of it, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix) said today.

He said the first order of the Pakatan Harapan government is to ensure institutions which have been compromised are fixed and strengthened.

“Never again shall this nation go through the dark episode of the kleptocratic regime,” he said in his keynote address at the Invest Malaysia forum.

“A stronger check and balance on the government should raise the trust and confidence of Malaysians and the global community.”

Mahathir said some of the steps taken are setting up a Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption as well as empowering the Election Commission and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“Restoring the dignity of Parliament is also important and six Select Committees have been established to act as a check and balance on the executive branch,“ he said, citing the example of the Budget Committee where parliamentarians and lawmakers can engage ministers on fiscal policies.

Mahathir said the government is serious about combating corruption and has come up with 115 initiatives to deal with this problem.

He urged the investment community to play their part by not buying shares or making deals with directors and companies that are involved in corrupt practices.

He said the government on its part has undertaken measures to ensure that no more active politicians are appointed as Head of Misssion and in any listed government-linked companies.

The prime minister said while economic growth mattered the benefits to the people is equally important.

“We don’t want an unequal society where capital owners take too much a chunk of national income, leaving the workers or low-income households on scraps. If this disparity is left unchecked, it will create tensions and hostility, and eventually lead to confrontations,” he said.

Mahathir said the government is currently rationalising expenditure on social protection and assistance programmes as there are over 110 programmes under 21 ministries.

He said the government is aware of the feeling of the people on the ground and it needs to do a better job of explaining issues to the people.

He said the government has taken many steps to stop the rot but they are unearthing damages on almost a daily basis.

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