KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called for a set of criteria to be outlined before a person can be appointed to a position which carries a ministerial rank.
Without such criteria, these appointments could be construed as a form of bribery to support the government, the former prime minister said.
“Yet, there is no criteria on how a ministerial rank was given.
“This a kind of bribery as the focus won’t be on the responsibilities the individual is supposed to carry out, but on what the individual is set to receive,” he said when debating the King’s speech.
Mahathir admitted that during his time as prime minister, he too had appointed individuals to positions with ministerial rank.
However, those he appointed had retired from civil service and politics, and were experts in certain fields, he said.
Recently, former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed as the National Recovery Council chairman with the ministerial rank.
Prior to Muhyiddin’s resignation as prime minister, he had appointed deputy Bersatu president Ahmad Faizal Azumu as his special adviser.
Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang are special envoys for China and the Middle East, respectively. All three appointments come with ministerial status.
On laws to ban party hopping, Mahathir said there was a need to properly define what constituted party-hopping.
He said there were times when political parties had to join forces after a general election to form a coalition government due to the lack of numbers to command a majority.
Such alliances, he said, should not be interpreted as party hopping, especially when they were formed in accordance with the constitution of the respective parties.
He also said there were also times when politicians were sacked from their party, and then joined another party.
“We can’t simply ban defections. We need to define what constitutes party hopping.” FMT
MKINI / FREE MALAYSIA TODAY