It is okay for leaders to backtrack from their initial promises because even angels make mistakes some times, says Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad amidst criticisms over several “u-turns” in government policies lately.
Mahathir said sometimes people made mistakes and had to backtrack when they realise it would be wiser to do so.
“Sometimes, we go the wrong way, we turn around but only if necessary. We are not perfect people.
“Although most of us are angels, angels make mistakes. So, when angels make mistakes, they turn around,” he said after the presidential council meeting here on Saturday.
Dr Mahathir was responding to several reports, one of which is the suspension of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan instalment scheme that was supposed to take effect on Jan 1.
On the suspension, Mahathir said the government's decision came about following a public outcry.
“There were many opinions from many people. Prior to the announcement, they didn't express it (their opinion). So, when we announced it, many people weren't happy. If we were to ask the opinions of the 33 million Malaysians, it would be quite a challenge. So, if they react negatively, we take that into consideration,” he said, adding that a decision should be announced soon.
He also dismissed speculation about a Cabinet reshuffle.
The government, he said, could not afford to have too many agencies, especially those whose fundings were from unknown sources.
“Although these are government agencies, they were abused and used for the (political) party. We have to shut them down,” he added.
It was reported in July that at least seven agencies under the finance ministry might be dissolved.