Friday, 11 May 2018

Tun Mahathir's Candid Press Conference After Being Sworn In as the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, fresh off his appointment as prime minister, laid out several measures as part of his reform agenda tonight.
Speaking at his inaugural press conference as the country’s seventh prime minister, he said top on his list were the implementation of new economic measures as well as reducing the national debt.
Dr Mahathir said the new government will ensure that the ringgit’s value remains steady, adding that economic management and business finances will be its main focus.
"I would like to tell the business people that they can push up the prices in the stock market. No devaluation of the ringgit. We cannot revalue the ringgit too much or else it will not be competitive. We will try to make the ringgit as steady as possible.”
On the national debt, Dr Mahathir said the country is in a "horrid financial problem" as Bank Negara Malaysia had stated that the amount owed by the government to financial institutions is RM800 billion.
"But I also know there's is a hidden figure that could be about RM1 trillion," he said.
He said solving issues pertaining the country’s debt would be his administration’s priority.
"We have to reduce our debt and we have to pay off our debt. Now we are saying that we can pay off quite a big (amount of) debt because we know where the money is and I think we can squeeze some people off their money.”
However, he noted that some debts were too large and negotiations on the terms and amounts as well as the course of the terms were needed.
Dr Mahathir said his administration would be able to retrieve 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund as they have identified “certain places where they are hidden”. He cited these locations as the United States, Singapore, Switzerland and also with businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.
He said the government will also adjust the petrol price, which he said is “very disturbing” for petrol dealers since the price keeps changing "every few seconds".
The prime minister also promised to set up a good government based on the constitution and law of the country.
“We want to ensure that the constitution is upheld and that law of the country is what will guide our administration,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also spoke on the concept of ‘Malaysia Incorporated’, which he said has been used by the country a long time ago.
“The concept of Malaysia incorporated means it will guide the government and private sector as part of the corporation which is Malaysia.”
Malaysia, he said, is looking at being a nation which is friendly with everyone.
"We strive to be a trading nation. A trading nation means markets and you don’t quarrel with your market. You try to be friends with them.
"If other people want to quarrel they can go ahead but we are not going to do that. We are looking into the market,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also said several heads of department would be removed, as well as reimbursing monies that were "unjustly" taken from supporters who had donated to Pakatan Harapan’s political campaign, as well as reducing the national debt.
"Certain heads of departments must fall. We find that some people were aiding and abetting a prime minister whom the world deemed as a kleptocrat.
"Some people who are close to me were visited by the income tax department (Inland Revenue Board) and sometimes the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and they would be imposed additional tax (during the previous government's administration) and we would like to reimburse this (their money)," he said.
On Sabah, the prime minister said it was unfortunate that Parti Warisan Sabah could not form the state government.He said the loss was due to Election Commission (EC) having ordered several vote recounts.
"In the first count, Warisan obtained about 32 to 33 seats but the EC said there should be a recount and another recount, and after that the figure came to 29.
"I know Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal has gotten tremendous support from the people," he said.

PETALING JAYA: The Government does not rule the possibility of dropping heads of certain departments found guilty of abetting in matters that did not do the country good during the previous administration.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said this will be one of his reform agendas, which will be implemented soon.
This move is necessary to ensure that the government administrative machinery is not tainted with destructive practices.
“Certain heads of department will have to go. I found that some of them were aiding and abetting with the previous kleptrocatic leadership.”
“Some people close to me were visited by the Inland Revenue Board and also the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and claimed they were charged additional tax (during the previous administration).
“I wil give their money back,” he said, at a Press conference, after swearing in as the seventh Prime Minister, yesterday.
Dr Mahathir said the country is currently also facing financial management problems, after the Bank Negara revealed that the total government borrowings from financial institutions of the previous administration amounted close to RM800 bilion.
“But I believe the hidden amount has reached RM1 trilion,” he said.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan will keep its promise to abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST) after forming the Federal government.
Its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Sales and Services Tax (SST) will be reinstated to replace the GST.
"It's a cancellation. We don't need it. We go back to the sales tax for the moment," he told a press conference, here today.
Malaysia's six per cent GST was introduced on April 1, 2015 to replace the SST.
Pakatan in its quest to wrest Putrajaya, said the tax had caused the cost of living in Malaysia to rise.—BERNAMA

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