THERE is too much power vested in the hands of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and this can be detrimental for Pakatan Harapan, said DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago.
The decision-making process should be removed from the prime minister and shared within the PH presidential council, the Klang MP said in a statement.
Dr Mahathir has been making unilateral decisions for the people at a “troubling frequency” and calling the shots despite representing a party that is considered a minority in the ruling coalition.
“Currently, it looks like there is too much power in the hands of the prime minister and so this power needs to be shared equally among all the component parties.”
“And he must understand that arbitrary decisions, without consultation, will not get him far.”
There is also a need to review the decision-making process at the PH presidential council level.
Controversial issues involving as race and religion must also go through the council, he said.
Citing the latest controversy over the introduction of khat lessons in the year four Bahasa Malaysia syllabus, Santiago said Dr Mahathir and Education Minister Maszlee Malik must have been well aware of the sensitivities surrounding the proposal before mooting it.
“It’s unfortunate that a beautiful form of calligraphy has been dragged through the mud by both the hoi polloi and the privileged,” he said.
Much time was also wasted on the debate over the khat issue when the government should have been concentrating of economic issues, he said.
“So, introducing khat could wait. And we could have definitely spent the last 14 days discussing other worthwhile concerns facing our students and the nation.”
Santiago also highlighted the failed promises of the PH government, such as the U-turns on the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and Rome Statute as well as the possible renewal of the operating licence of Lynas Corp.
The government, he said, doesn’t have a good track record to win the confidence of the people.
“In sharp contrast, they are livid, furious and threaten to vote us out of power in the next general election. And I understand their anger.”
Santiago also reminded that the government which unseated former prime minister Najib Razak not to end up being like him.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT