Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says it is okay for ministers to award projects, which is in a stark departure from the Pakatan Harapan’s philosophy, say coalition members.
On Thursday, PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim met with Dr Mahathir to discuss a smooth transition of power. Anwar then said he also raised the issue of rumours that some cabinet ministers were believed to have given out projects.
“But, Cabinet ministers have the right to award projects, (but) in their constituencies,” said Dr. Mahathir to the media on Saturday.
His statement drew a strong response from a Pakatan MP, Ramkarpal Singh who expressed shock that the prime minister said federal ministers had the right to dish out contracts.
He says the statement from Dr Mahathir is ‘morally wrong.’
“I am unaware of what right he was referring to.
“But even if there were such a right, it is morally wrong for ministers to give out contracts,” he said in a statement.
Anwar wrote on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday he reported the issue to the PM and the PM took note of the matter.
“The Prime Minister also took note of the various allegations towards certain Cabinet ministers who have been abusing their power or who have been raising political support through awarding projects,” he said.
Hari ini saya mengadakan pertemuan selama 30 minit bersama Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad di Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana, Putrajaya. pic.twitter.com/Vhc8o3RRER
— Anwar Ibrahim (@anwaribrahim) November 21, 2019
On a separate matter, Dr Mahathir said some Umno people who have ‘lost their party and do not know what to do about it’ went to meet Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali at his home to ask whether they can join another party.
Azmin held a meeting with at least 20 Umno leaders and MPs last Sunday. Five PKR MPs joined a dinner at Azmin’s house in Putrajaya where the Umno MPs and members were.
“Some expressed their support for my leadership,” said Mahathir.
He also said the infighting in the PKR is an internal matter.
“I stay away from the infighting. It should be resolved within the party”.
“I leave the matter to the party (PKR). If the party doesn’t agree with that (approach), it should tell him so. He (Azmin) is not from my party.”