A Member of Parliament from Mr Anwar Ibrahim’s party has told a forum that the Pakatan Harapan manifesto is not being implemented because the team behind it is not in the Cabinet.
Mr William Leong said on Monday that the team responsible for the manifesto had been discarded from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s Cabinet.
“Wong Chen, Rafizi Ramli, Dr Rais Husin, Dr Ong Kian Ming, Tony Pua — this is the team that wrote the book but none of them is a minister.
“Those who understand are not in the Cabinet. Those who didn’t read are in the Cabinet and that’s why they say it’s very difficult to do it (implement the manifesto),” the Selayang MP said.
The forum was part of a campaign to pressure PH’s Presidential Council to speed up the transition process.
Mr Leong said that Mr Anwar was the only one who could fulfill the manifesto promises, while Dr Mahathir had in the past described the manifesto as a job done in hast.
The Prime Minister had said last year that the PH did not expect to win and that it did the manifesto to win votes, not knowing that it would be difficult to implement.
Mr Leong said at the forum that Dr Mahathir had shown that he did not believe in the manifesto and that was why it was necessary for Pakatan to make a change for the transition “to the one who believes in it and to a Cabinet that believes in it”.
Last week, reformist and whistle-blower Rafizi Ramli urged Dr Mahathir to set a transition timeline, otherwise the Pakatan would do so for him.
Dr Mahathir did not respond to Mr Rafizi or to Mr Leong.
Mr Rafizi and other MPs in the Pakatan believe Mr Anwar has the support of a majority of Parliamentarians and that leadership change in the government is imminent.
Dr Mahathir has resisted calls for a leadership transition timeline, saying that, if it is set, it will make him look like a “lame duck” Prime Minister.
Late last year, he said he would quit after the APEC summit in Malaysia in November this year.
In an unusual turn of events, this will be the second time Dr Mahathir will host the summit. In 1998, when he first hosted one, the “reformasi” movement was at its peak and Mr Anwar was in jail. At that meeting, American Vice-President Al Gore was reported to have praised those in Malaysia who had called for “reformasi”.