THE cabinet has decided to vet policies and decisions made by ministries under the previous Barisan Nasional administration, said sources.
This new move was decided upon in the most recent cabinet meeting to avoid unnecessary criticism of Pakatan Harapan, following the fallout from the khat issue last week, they said.
“The cabinet felt it needs to review and reconsider the decisions taken by the previous administration, so that it can be ready to face arising issues and controversies.
“There are some decisions from the old government that, when implemented, have caused problems for this government, which means ministers are misunderstood and unfairly attacked.
“For example, people have criticised this PH government over khat despite its introduction being a decision by the old government.
“As such, from now, all decisions made by the previous government must be reviewed first by the cabinet before they are implemented,” said a source.
By doing so, the heat, when things go wrong, can be removed from a particular ministry or minister because the cabinet would have already decided how to handle the issue.
“By going through the cabinet again, we can look into the policy decision, its implementation, and to when and how it can be implemented without causing any pushback from the people,” he added.
The Education Ministry’s decision to introduce khat as part of the Bahasa Malaysia syllabus for year four pupils met with resistance, especially from vernacular education groups and members of political parties.
They accused PH of Islamisation through khat lessons, a move denied by the government.
Subsequently, the government decided to make khat optional in vernacular schools, while reducing the number of lessons and not making it an examination subject.
However, education groups continue to object, despite the ministry’s assertion that the original decision was made in 2014 by the previous BN government.
The source also said that the ministry didn’t keep Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik informed of the decision to implement khat because civil servants felt they were only following a timeline previously agreed upon.
“Maszlee didn’t know. As such, when the government was criticised, it became difficult for him to defend the move and respond. The khat issue turned into a race and religious issue.
“However, the civil servants are equally not to blame because they were only adhering to a stipulated timeline which was agreed upon by the BN government in 2014.”