PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has rubbished claims that the setting up of the high-powered Economic Action Council (EAC) was an admission that the current crop of Cabinet members was not performing up to standard.
The Prime Minister said regardless of the performance and capability of the ministers, it was vital for the government to listen to the opinions and views of others to ensure the successful development of the country.
Mahathir was responding to his communications and media adviser Datuk Kadir A. Jasin’s statement earlier today that the decision to establish the council on Monday was due to realisation that the current administration was unable to handle issues plaguing the country.
“If we listen only to ourselves, we will never know where we go wrong. The EAC will allow us to hear the views of others,“ he told a press conference, here, today.
“Any government that doesn’t want to listen to outside opinions and only (depend) on the cabinet, even if it’s made up brilliant people, that government will go wrong,“ he added.
Kadir had in his blog post said the EAC was a sign of admission that the Cabinet has been underperforming since coming into power, and that it was no secret that the current administration has failed to live up to the people’s expectations having failed to show tangible results to the masses.
Mahathir however pointed out that during his first stint as prime minister between 1981 and 2003, he had similarly established an economic council, years after he took power.
Commenting further, he said he would have seen that the EAC be set up immediately after PH won the general election on May 9 had it not been for a “busy period” for the coalition in the months following the victory.
“We would have set up right from the beginning, but it has been very busy. Now we feel we have enough time to set up the council,“ he said.
Mahathir explained that among the council’s main focus was on the economic development of the country, as well as to resolve any issues relating to investors and reducing the country’s debts.
Among the 16 names in the council are Mahathir, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, prominent economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Public Bank managing director Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek and former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.