PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix) has put to bed any rumours of a possible cabinet reshuffle, claiming it will not happen during his tenure as the Prime Minister.
“No. No, not doing my time,” he said during an interview at BFM’s The Breakfast Grille show today.
He was responding to a question if a reshuffle was necessary considering public criticism of the performance of some of the Cabinet ministers.
Mahathir argued that introducing new faces into the Cabinet would not necessarily improve performance, while stressing out that the current ministers have only had over a year of experience.
“I think, in a new minister, I will have a tough time trying to get him to adjust to this new job. Probably, he will not deliver.
“But a new minister doesn’t mean a better minister. As we may have found out, a new prime minister also doesn’t mean he will be a good prime minister,” he said, believed to be referring to the his predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
Rumours have been rife in recent weeks that there could be a reshuffle to the Cabinet due to the underperformance of some of the ministers, with Mahathir later on Aug 22 claiming they might only be portfolio changes.
Commenting further, Mahathir said contrary to popular belief, a reshuffle could even cause more problems to the government.
“It doesn’t solve many problems, but create more. That is why I’m not very keen in solving my problems by changing people,” he said without elaborating.
On the succession plan for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to take over from him after two years, Mahathir said it would be hard to fix a proper date as it would affect his focus and efforts in addressing the major issues plaguing the country.
“I have to make sure that I have solved most of the major problems before I handover. So a fix period makes it very difficult for me to work.
On what was the main issue that was concerning him at the moment, Mahathir said it was that many Malaysians were expecting too much from the current Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, despite knowing the various challenges it has faced since coming into power May last year.
He pointed out the fact that the multi-party coalition has stayed together in power this long was alone an achievement.
“There are some people on the fringes who are not satisfied, but that’s okay, that’s democracy. But the main thing is this government has succeeded in staying together, tackling many issues like solving our financial problem.
“Not many countries can manage. Even some coalitions with only two parties can’t manage (to stay together). But here have five. And until this moment, there has been no strong tendency for us to break up,” he said.