Pakatan Harapan made promises in its “thick” manifesto without anticipating a victory in GE14: Dr Mahathir Mohamad

It was reported by Malaysiakini on Tuesday that Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had admitted that fulfilling the promises by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in its “thick” manifesto has been a challenging feat, considering the fact that the coalition did not truly anticipate coming into power in the 14th General Election on 9 May.

Speaking at a gathering with Harapan and Parti Warisan Sabah MPs in Petaling Jaya on Monday night, the prime minister had nonetheless urged PH to strive to meet as many promises that have been made in the manifesto, and, in the event that it is unable to deliver all of its promises within the 100 days as stated, be able to offer reasonable explanation for not being able to meet the promises.

Dr Mahathir said: “Actually, we did not expect to win, [yet] we made a thick manifesto with all kinds of promises.

We must fulfill our promises, which is why we can’t make promises that we cannot fulfill.

He added: “We need to make sacrifices to fulfil our promises.

If we can’t fulfil them, we will need a good reason that is acceptable to the people.

According to Malaysiakini’s sources who attended the dinner on Monday, Dr Mahathir had warned the coalition of a “backlash”.

“If we fail to deliver on our promises, the opposition will use it against us and we may be defeated (in the next general election),” said Dr Mahathir.

Citing an example of PH’s promise to place the opposition leader in a position equivalent to that of a minister, he said that in actuality after PH’s victory, uneasiness has arisen regarding the prospect.

“That is the problem when we make promises,” said Dr Mahathir regarding the matter.

Previously in a speech at a breaking of fast event at the Masjid Al Hana in Langkawi, the constituency of which is he is a Member of Parliament, Dr Mahathir revealed that the “damage” that has been done to the country by the previous Barisan Nasional government had made the new Pakatan Harapan government realise that it needed more time to meet all of the promises in their election manifesto.

The New Straits Times reported that while the prime minister did not elaborate on the ‘damage’, it was understood that the “damage” referred to the amount of national debt accrued by the previous government.

“In GE14, we (Pakatan Harapan) promised a better life for the people.

But all of these promises were made based on incomplete information… we did not know the extent of the damage to the country.

As such, we admit that me may have to take more than 100 days to complete these pledges.

I hope the people understand that it is not easy to govern the country in its present state,” said Dr Mahathir.