KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 – While the media might have thought Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would have taken the Sunday off after a blistering campaign culminating with a resounding victory in the 14th general election on Wednesday and forming the government thereafter, he would have none of that. In fact, he is working at a feverish pace putting things in place.
The last four days were packed with back-to-back meetings and discussions with various people including Pakatan Harapan (made up of PKR, PPBM, DAP and Amanah) leaders. Then there was the much-awaited ceremony at Istana Negara where Dr Mahathir was officially sworn in as the nation’s seventh Prime Minister on Friday.
He even managed to squeeze in a visit to the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital in Kuala Lumpur to meet up with PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is is recuperating after surgery. Despite his busy schedule, who is the oldest elected leader at 92 years, saw it fit to hold an “information session’ at his residence with the official media.
He had called for Bernama, the national news agency and RTM to meet him at his Seri Kembangan residence. The session, he said, was necessary because he wasn’t able to speak at length about the new government’s aspirations earlier as he was constantly answering questions from the local and foreign media at previous events.
Wearing a grey bush jacket outfit, his trademark attire that he frequently donned during the 22 years he was at the helm for the first time from 1981 to 2003, Dr Mahathir seemed at ease and in good spirits … Seated next to him was his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Ali. The Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman talked about the new leadership and the need to come up with an anti-corruption policy.
He also answered questions about the administrative system, civil servants, the PH manifesto and what the leadership hoped to achieve in the first 100 days. The one-hour interview also saw him talking about the country’s economy, the oil and gas sector and the Goods and Services Tax.
The Prime Minister also touched on the government’s openness in dealing with news reports, the importance of local expertise to spur the country’s economy and the need for a study on economic performance including the country’s total debt. The session ended with a photo session with the Prime Minister, his wife and the media personnel present.
Being Mother’s Day today, reporters also took the opportunity to record a Mother’s Day speech from Dr Siti Hasmah. She reminded children to spend time with their mothers as that was a way of showing their love and strengthening the relationship. — Bernama